MADRID Jan 15 Telefonica S.A. has sold
its remaining 2.9 percent stake in telecommmunications equipment
company Amper S.A., which it used to fully own, a
source with knowledge of the situation said on Tuesday.
Telefonica, which is on a debt-cutting drive to protect its
investment grade credit rating, had already cut its 5.7 percent
stake in Amper to 2.9 percent in September.
"This sale was expected and we would also say that the
impact of this transaction is immaterial for Telefonica's cash
flow," Espirito Santo analysts said in a note to clients,
estimating the value of the 2.9 percent stake at 1.6 million
euros ($2.1 million).
Telefonica declined to comment. Spanish companies are not
required to publicly announce sales of stakes under 3 percent.
Telefonica took over Amper in 1982, making the company its
main equipment supplier. Amper then went public in 1986 and
around half of its shares are free floating.
Sweden-based investment firm Tvikap AB, owned by Spanish
corporate and individual investors, is Amper's largest
shareholder with 22 percent of the company.
Telefonica sold a number of interests in 2012, including its
call centre business Atento and also sold a stake in its German
O2-branded mobile business through a share float. The
company is also considering floating up to 15 percent of its
Latin American business to raise cash.
Telefonica, which reports full-year results in February, is
expected to reduce its debt to 50 billion euros at year-end from
56 billion euros at end-Sept.
(Reporting by Clare Kane; Editing by Greg Mahlich)