AT&T plans to sell its wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America for $1.95 billion cash. The transaction includes network assets, including spectrum; real estate and leases; customers, including 1.1 million wireless subscribers; and contracts.
The transaction is subject to review by the FCC and the Department of Justice. The two companies expect the deal to close within six to nine months.
AT&T CFO John Stephens said the deal is the result of the carrier’s ongoing strategic review of its balance sheet and assets to identify opportunities for monetization. “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. Liberty Latin America has a strong reputation for quality of service, and we believe they have the experience to build on the success of these operations.”
When the deal does become final, about 1,300 AT&T employees will move to Liberty Latin America. To ensure a smooth transition, AT&T will provide certain transition support functions to Liberty Latin America following the transaction’s close. 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. Among other services, post-close, Liberty Latin America will support AT&T’s FirstNet build in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, expanding LTE coverage and capacity to best meet the needs of first responders in the region. Eligible first responders subscribing to AT&T’s FirstNet services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will still have access to the FirstNet network platform, including priority and preemption.
“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/CEO Balan Nair. “We are focused on investing in digital infrastructure, innovation and 5G networks and on delivering a friendly customer service experience. This transaction is evidence of that, and we are confident that this new combination will be good for our customers and our employees, including those joining us from AT&T.”
October 10, 2019
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