Spain's Telefonica, the chief competitor of Mexico City-based wireless giant American Movil in Latin America, plans to sell between 23 percent and 25 percent of its non-strategic assets in some of the region's countries, although not in Mexico, a company executive told Efe.
The move is part of the Spanish company's strategy "to shed some of its non-strategic assets, an operation that's nothing new and is done everywhere," the head of Telefonica's Mexico unit, Juan Abellan, said.
He recalled that on Sunday the company announced the sale of about half of its stake in China Unicom back to the Asian firm's parent company for 1.13 billion euros ($1.42 billion).
It also is mulling the sale of other non-strategic assets in Germany and in several Latin American markets.
"Mexico is not being considered for now in these planned stock listings in Latin American countries," where a stake of no greater than 23-25 percent in several of its businesses will be sold, albeit with Telefonica "always maintaining control," the executive said.
Abellan was interviewed after Telefonica announced a network-sharing and infrastructure build-out deal Wednesday with Mexico's Iusacell aimed at reaching some 27 million subscribers and challenging the iron grip of wireless leader Telcel and sister fixed-line giant Telmex, both controlled by multi-billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil.
Current market conditions require companies to modify their business plans, because otherwise they "cannot survive," he said.
He added that the difficult economic situation in Europe, particularly Spain, does not adversely affect Telefonica's operations in Latin America and other markets abroad, adding that the company maintains its growth and investment projections.
Telefonica has new projects in the works to strengthen its presence in Mexico, according to Abellan, who described that country as "solid and strong" despite the wave of drug-related violence in recent years. EFE