Telefonica in talks to refinance 5 billion euros of debt -report

MADRID Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:31am EST

MADRID Jan 24 (Reuters) - Spain's Telefonica is in talks to refinance some 5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) of debt to prepare for possible acquisitions, particularly in Brazil, Expansion reported.

The company, one of Europe's most heavily indebted telecoms operators, is in talks with creditors to lower the cost and extend the maturity of a 3 billion euro loan, the newspaper said, citing unnamed financial sources.

It is also studying paying off another 2 billion euros of debt with proceeds from the sale of its Czech business.

A Telefonica spokesman could not confirm the report.

The company sold a string of assets in 2013 aimed at reducing debt and improving its credit ratings.

($1 = 0.7310 euros) (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)