MADRID Nov 26 Spanish telecoms company Telefonica is considering grouping its Latin American businesses into a Spanish holding company to list in New York next year, newspaper Expansion reported on Monday.
The firm is on a debt-cutting drive after years of credit-fueled expansion and successfully listed part of its German unit in October.
Should Telefonica need to raise more cash next year, its most likely plan is to float a minority stake in a newly-created holding company for its Latin American assets, Expansion said, without citing sources.
"The Latin America initial public offering process is ongoing, and no decision has been taken," a spokesman for Telefonica said.
Telefonica would create a Spanish holding company for fiscal reasons including lower corporate tax, according to Expansion, despite the fact that some of the management team would be based in Brazil.
The company would not carry out the IPO before the first half of next year, the paper said.
Telefonica expects to pare its debt to 50 billion euros ($65 billion) by the end of 2012 from 56 billion euros at end-September through its cash-raising measures, including scrapping its dividend and asset sales.
The company said a Latin American listing was an option when it presented nine-month results earlier this month.
"No decision has been taken on such a transaction but we are working on preparations in case we decide to move ahead with it," Chief Financial Officer Angel Vila said.
Telefonica Latin American Chief Executive Santiago Fernandez Valbuena said he did not believe in listing individual countries separately.
Latin America now accounts for more of Telefonica's revenues than Europe. The region is expected to register 3.2 percent economic growth this year, compared to a consensus 1.5 percent contraction in recession-hit Spain.