Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica, which operates under Movistar brand in Costa Rica, intends to offer its local unit for sale again, following Millicom’s withdrawal from the acquisition two months ago. According to some Spanish media, a due diligence inquiry is being conducted in preparation for a potential transaction and negotiations for the sale have accelerated in the last few weeks.
Spanish website Merca2 has identified two potential buyers, namely Novator Partners, an investment company owned by Icelandic businessman Thor Björgólsson (who also owns Chile’s mobile operator WOM), and telecommunications group América Móvil, which belongs to Mexican entrepreneur Carlos Slim (Claro, Telmex and Telcel). Spanish newspaper El Economista has reported that Chilean telecommunications company Entel and multinationals AT&T and Liberty Global are interested in the acquisition too.
In the last few years, Telefónica has sold its units in Guatemala and El Salvador to América Móvil (in the latter country government approval is still pending) and its operations in Panamá and Nicaragua to Millicom.
As regards the aborted sale of Telefónica’s Costa Rican unit to Millicom, Telefónica has reported that it will sue Millicom in New York State Courts.
In Costa Rica, Movistar offers mobile phone, VOIP and Satellite TV (DTH) services.