Telefonica not sporting stake

Beaver Creek speculated to have bought shares

BUENOS AIRES — Telefonica has sold its 20% stake in Argentina’s leading sports programmer Torneos y Competencias (TyC), the Spanish telco’s latest media asset divestment as it focuses on its core business, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Speculation is that Beaver Creek, a U.S.-based investment fund in which Fred Vierra is a major shareholder, bought the stake.

Telefonica, which has been offloading media interests in the past few years, did not disclose the buyer, price or other details of the sale.

An American, Vierra was CEO of Argentina’s leading cabler, Cablevision, in the 1990s and then returned as a shareholder in 2002 in association with John Malone’s Liberty Media. Earlier this year he exited Cablevision with Liberty, selling the group’s direct and indirect 50% interest.

In May Vierra bought the 20% of TyC held by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, a Texas-based buyout firm that owns 50% of Cablevision.

If Beaver does have Telefonica’s stake, Vierra now owns 40% of TyC through various investment groups. TyC’s juiciest asset is the TV rights to 2014 of Argentina’s first division soccer.

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