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Telefónica reportedly receives €10 billion bid for 51% of its Hispanoamérica business

A group of Latin American oligarchs seem to have had a whip-round to buy a majority stake in all Telefónica operations in the continent, bar Brazil.

The rumour comes courtesy of Spanish newspaper El Mundo, which claims the fattest cats in each of the Spanish-speaking Latin American countries Telefónica currently operates in have clubbed together to bid for a controlling stake in Telefónica Hispanoamérica for €10 billion, which they would then distribute among themselves. It looks like the plan then would be to IPO another quarter of it to claw back some of the cash.

We’re told the bid originated from Colombia, but covers Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, México, Perú and Uruguay too. It should be stressed that when El Mundo approached Telefónica about the story, it denied there is evidence of the offer, which seems a tad slippery. It’s certainly no secret that Telefónica wants to flog its Hispanoamérica unit, since it formally announced the plan late last year.

If any of this is accurate it values Telefónica Hispanoamérica at around €20 billion, which is serious money. But even if it sold all of it for cash, that would still only halve the epic debt pile it has managed to accumulate over the years. On the flip side it would then have the liquidity to double down on its European and Brazilian operations, which should make things interesting in those markets.


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