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Telefónica looking at IPO for Latin American unit

Rumors about a possible initial public offering of Spain-based Telefónica’s Latin American business are back. According to reports, Telefónica is looking to float the Latin American units on the New York Stock Exchange. When contacted by RCR Wireless News, Telefónica’s public relations representatives said there has been no decision made yet, but they did confirm that an IPO is among the possibilities that the telecom operator is evaluating at the moment.

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The IPO offering could include all of the carrier’s Latin American units, which would be grouped in a holding company. It could happen next year as a move to raise cash to pay down debt.

Recently, Telefónica cancelled payment of all remaining dividends and share buybacks for this year, citing the current instability of the economy as prompting the move. When unveiling its third quarter financial results, the telecom operator announced that its net profits were up by 26.4% to $4.41 billion.

The IPO idea is not new as the company also considered a Latin American IPO as an option when it was evaluating the initial public offering of its German O2 unit, which it realized last month. The success of the German IPO gave some analysts new hope for renewed confidence in the European market.

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