DirecTV exploring IPO of Latin America business

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Divesting the southern-situated operations would help AT&T pay down debt related to its ongoing $85 billion quest to acquire Time Warner Inc. (DirecTV)

AT&T is exploring an initial public offering for its Latin American DirecTV assets in the first half of the year, the company announced.

The division was acquired in the $48.5 billion purchase of DirecTV in 2015. It includes satellite TV services in the Caribbean and South American countries such as Colombia and Argentina, as well as a 93% stake in Sky Brazil and 41% ownership of Sky Mexico. 

The division reported 139,000 net adds last year and finished 2017 with 13.6 million total subscribers. In total, the DirecTV Latin American assets are valued by as much as $10 billion. 

Divesting the southern-situated operations would help AT&T pay down debt related to its ongoing $85 billion quest to acquire Time Warner Inc.

And it might ease regulatory hurdles in certain regions, as well. 

For example, Brazilian antitrust officials said last year that they’d only approve the Time Warner merger if AT&T kept Sky separate from Time Warner operations. 

As Bloomberg noted, AT&T has potential merger partners in the Latam region that include Telefonica SA and John Malone’s Liberty Latin America Ltd.

AT&T filed a registration statement with U.S. regulators. No assurance can be given that an IPO will be completed.