Telefónica eyes listing for Argentine unit

03 April 2018 | James Pearce

Telefónica has reportedly set the ball rolling to place its Argentine subsidiary on the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange as it looks to cut its debt levels.

According to Reuters, the Spanish operator is awaiting shareholder approval in order to list its Argentinian operation with a meeting scheduled to take place on 16 April.

The unit is being valued at around €4.7 billion including debt, according to Barclays via Reuters. The potential listing would mark the latest attempt by the Spanish operator to alleviate its levels of debt, and would also help fund an extension of its fibre network.

Telefónica’s debt stood at 48.6 billion euros at the end of December. At the end of 2016, it axed plans to list infrastructure arm Telxius in an IPO that could have been worth around €1.2 billion, whilst rumours have also persisted that it is looking to offload its UK mobile operatioin following the collapse of a sale to CK Hutchison.

In Argentina, it is competing directly under the Movistar brand with America Movil and Telecom Argentina. All three operators recently pledged additional investments into infrastructure in the country following the loosening of regulations.