Telefónica Argentina could raise up to US$1bn with listing

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Spanish telco Telefónica could raise up to US$1bn with the initial public offering of its Argentine subsidiary.

The company has hired banks Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to assist with the listing processes, which would be carried out on the Buenos Aires (pictured) and New York stock exchanges, Bloomberg reported.

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Contacted by BNamericas, Telefónica did not confirm the Bloomberg information.

The double listing is similar to what has been done with other Telefónica's subsidiaries, such as that in Brazil. There, Telefónica's Vivo is listed on both the São Paulo stock exchange, under the VIVT ticker, and on the NYSE, under VIV.

Argentina is the second largest Latin American operation for Telefónica after Brazil, with 25mn total clients at end-2017 and 3.4bn euros in full-year revenues. The unit is valued at around 4.7bn euros (US$5.8bn), including debt, according to Barclays.

In previous a filing sent to Argentina's market watchdog, Telefónica stated that it would hold a shareholders' meeting on April 16 to discuss the listing.

Telefónica ended 2017 with 44.2bn euros (US$54.5bn) in total debt, according to its latest earnings report, 83% of which is in bonds and commercial paper and 15% in debt with financial institutions.

The listing of the Argentine operations would come as an attempt to reduce that hefty figure.