AT&T announced yesterday that it has completed the sale of its wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America (NASDAQ: LILA and LILAK). The transaction includes employees, network assets and spectrum, real estate and leases, customers, including more than one million wireless subscribers; and contracts. A search of the Inside Towers Database showed 55 towers registered to AT&T in Puerto Rico and seven in the Virgin Islands.
The U.S. Justice Department recently called on the two companies to divest some fiber assets and customers to WorldNet Telecommunications to complete the deal.
Balan Nair, President and CEO of Liberty Latin America, said, “This is a great day for Liberty Latin America, the employees that will be joining us from AT&T, and most importantly the consumers and businesses in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who will realize the benefits of this transaction. By creating the leading integrated provider, we will deliver added value to customers through expanded product offerings, more resilient infrastructure, and world-class customer service levels.”
Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will retain FirstNet responsibilities and relationships as well as DIRECTV and certain global business customer relationships. The sale does not affect AT&T’s FirstNet commitment. AT&T retains its dedicated FirstNet network core and service capabilities. Post-close, Liberty Latin America will support AT&T’s FirstNet build in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
AT&T will retain DIRECTV and certain global business customer relationships and FirstNet responsibilities and relationships. Eligible first responders subscribing to FirstNet in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will still have access to the benefits and capabilities — including always-on priority and preemption — of the FirstNet platform.
With the $1.95 billion in cash AT&T is receiving, it plans to use the proceeds to redeem all of the preferred interests in a subsidiary (PR Holdings). The company said it continues to pursue additional non-core asset monetization opportunities.
Liberty Latin America operates in over 20 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean under the consumer brands VTR, Flow, Liberty, Más Móvil, BTC, UTS and Cabletica.
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