March 7, 2018 / 1:00 PM / 3 months ago

AT&T's DirecTV Latin America unit files for U.S. IPO

(Reuters) - Vrio Corp, AT&T Inc’s (T.N) DirecTV business in Latin America, on Wednesday filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of as much as $100 million.

Vrio said it would list its Class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "VRIO". (bit.ly/2FsWawj)

AT&T’s initial plan was to sell the unit to pay down debt, which will increase to about $180 billion once its acquisition of Time Warner Inc TWX.N closes.

Last month, AT&T filed confidentially for an IPO for the business, which includes satellite and cable television services in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, among others, prompting analysts to say that the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier probably was not able to find a buyer.

    Cable service providers have been facing tough competition as the industry battles with cord-cutting, where people are moving toward video streaming services such as Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) Amazon Prime.

    DirecTV Latin America’s 2017 revenue rose about 11 percent to $5.57 billion, on constant currency basis, driven by an increase in subscriptions. It recorded a profit of $213 million in 2017, compared with a loss of $348 million a year earlier.

    Goldman Sachs & Co LLC, J.P. Morgan, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are lead underwriters to the offering, Vrio said in the filing.

    The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filing is usually a placeholder.

    Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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