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 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
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
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.