The Argentine business Olmos Group, the owner of the news channel Crónica TV, Diario Crónica, Evolución Seguros, and other companies in the health care business in Argentina, have begun negotiations to buy over Telefónica's Uruguay, the subsidiary announced Wednesday.
Grupo Olmos has retained former Telefónica España CEO Luis Miguel Gilpérez to structure the acquisition of the assets of Telefónica Uruguay. Gilpérez chaired Telefónica España between 2011 and 2018 and was in charge of developing the company's business in Latin America from 2003 to 2011.
Former Telefónica España President Luis Miguel Gilpérez is in charge of the operation for the acquisition of Telefónica Uruguay as part of Grupo Olmos' international expansion, the company said in a statement.
Grupo Olmos has also summoned the Swiss investment bank UBS to structure the financing of the operation.
At the end of 2019, the CEO of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, had announced the possible sale of certain subsidiaries in Latin America to focus on four other markets. Our operations in Latin America were until a few years ago the growth engine of the company. However, the particular conditions in these markets have impacted the evolution of the businesses, diminishing their contribution in recent years for different reasons and despite the enormous efforts by local teams, which have always shown a strong commitment, Álvarez-Pallete was quoted as saying.
Other corporations interested in the buy over of Telefónica Uruguay are Grupo Clarín-Telecom Group of Argentina and the wholesale operator Liberty, an internet and cable TV operator which has been expanding across Latin America in recent years.
“Telecom has shown interest in Movistar – a Telefonica subsidiary-and we continue to do so. As long as Uruguay makes foreign investment in telecommunications more flexible, we will be willing to do our business there, ”Pedro López Matheu, director of External Communications, Sustainability, and Media at Telecom Argentina, had said.
In January 2021, Telefónica sold its telecommunications tower division in Europe and Latin America to the American Tower Corporation. The countries included were Spain, Germany, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. However, Uruguay, where the Spanish company owns Movistar, was not included.
At that time, the British firm New Street Research had estimated Telefónica Uruguay was worth US $ 514 million.