×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AT&T Selling Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands Operations to Reduce Debt

AT&T is selling its wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America for $1.95 billion in cash.

AT&T has been on a mission to reduce its enormous debt load from last year’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner through asset sales and other cost-control moves. Earlier this year, AT&T sold its 10% stake in Hulu to Disney for $1.4 billion as it tries to whittle down the red ink that as of July stood at about $150 billion.

“This transaction is a result of our ongoing strategic review of our balance sheet and assets to identify opportunities for monetization,” said AT&T chief financial officer John Stephens. “But doing so only made sense if we received a fair value from a buyer that is committed to taking this well-run business, with its skilled employees and loyal customer base, and help it thrive.”

The transaction, announced on Wednesday, is subject to review by the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. The two companies expect the deal to close within six to nine months.

AT&T said it has already surpassed its monetization goal of a net $6 billion to $8 billion in 2019. With this deal, the total of completed or announced monetization efforts this year is more than $11 billion.

AT&T has been pressured by activist shareholder Elliott Management Corp., which has been advocating divestments of some assets. The company reports third quarter earnings on Oct. 23.

“The combination of AT&T’s leading mobile and wired businesses with Liberty Puerto Rico’s leading high-speed broadband and TV business will create a strong and competitive integrated communications player,” said Liberty Latin America president and CEO Balan Nair.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Star Wars The Mandalorian

    Why Wall Street Is Feeling Bullish as Disney Plus Blasts Off

    Bob Iger has presided over many launches during his 14 years as Disney CEO: a theme park in Shanghai, state-of-the-art cruise ships, “Star Wars”- and “Avatar”-themed immersive attractions and even a cinematic universe requiring billions of dollars of investment in Marvel movies. But nothing in his tenure has drawn the level of scrutiny that has [...]

  • Worldwide XR roster

    Team Behind Digital James Dean Forms New Company to Resurrect Other Legends (EXCLUSIVE)

    The team that helped resurrect James Dean with visual effects for an upcoming Vietnam war movie isn’t done creating digital versions of famous actors and other celebrities: Intellectual property licensing specialist CMG Worldwide has merged with immersive content creation studio Observe Media to form Worldwide XR, a new company that aims to bring digital humans [...]

  • iHeartRadio Podcast Awards 2020

    iHeartRadio Podcast Awards 2020 Nominees Announced (EXCLUSIVE)

    iHeartMedia announced nominees for the 2020 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards, which return for a second run next January to honor the most entertaining and innovative podcasts of the year across 30 categories. The 10 podcasts nominated for Podcast of the Year are the New York Times’ “The Daily,” “The Joe Rogan Experience,” “Stuff You Should Know,” [...]

  • Disney Plus Technical Issues

    Disney Plus Service Users Complain of Login Problems, Service Errors on Launch Day

    UPDATED: Disney Plus opened its doors Tuesday — but some fans immediately encountered problems trying to access the streaming service. Multiple users on social media said they had trouble signing in to Disney Plus when it first went live, while others said they had problems accessing specific content or using features (like setting up a [...]

  • Disney Plus Launches; Two Episodes of

    Two Episodes of 'The Mandalorian,' Other Originals to Drop This Week as Disney Plus Goes Live

    New episodes of Disney Plus original series dropped Tuesday as the streaming service went live in three countries, with second installments of “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian” and other shows set to become available just a few days later. Disney’s new direct-to-consumer service launched Tuesday in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands, with company chief [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content