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Telefonica’s Fiber Asset Sale in Peru: Exploring External Investors and Partners

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Telefonica appears to be preparing for the sale of fiber assets in Peru, following a strategy similar to what the company has employed in other Latin American markets. According to a report by Cinco Dias, the Spanish operator group’s Peruvian unit has enlisted the assistance of Deloitte Corporate Finance in evaluating its options.

The main focus is on Deloitte assisting Telefonica with the potential sale of fiber-optic assets it owns to PangeaCo, a company established nearly three years ago to manage Peru’s fiber rollout. The implication is that this would enable Telefonica to introduce external investors or new partners. Given the company’s history in Latin America, it seems likely that bringing in an external investor to take a significant stake in an expanded PangeaCo is the most probable outcome.

In recent years, Telefonica has set up fiber ventures in various South American markets and brought investors into each. For instance, it sold a 60% stake in its Chilean fiber business to KKR in 2021, valuing the unit at $1 billion. Telefonica later formed FiBrasil, a Brazilian fiber joint venture with Canada’s CDPQ, and agreed to sell a 60% holding in a new Colombian fiber company, once again to KKR.

Despite the rumors, no solid information has emerged about a similar move in Peru, with KKR being one of the most frequently mentioned potential investors. In its first quarter report, published last month, Telefonica Hispanoamérica emphasized the importance of developing new digital infrastructure deployment models, citing its Chilean and Colombian fiber ventures as prime examples.

Telefonica ended the quarter with 2.23 million homes in Peru covered by fiber, a 60% YoY increase with 1.42 million of those being the company’s own lines. However, most of the growth over the year came from PangeaCo. Insiders at Telefonica del Peru informed Cinco Dias that the company is trying to find the most effective way to expand its fiber-optic network, hence the appointment of Deloitte.

Deloitte’s role will also include examining the granting of usage rights on Telefonica’s network and offering adjacent services. Sources stated that Telefonica has reaffirmed its commitment to continue connecting more users to high-speed internet in Peru, indicating that the company may not plan to sell out entirely.

Ultimately, it remains uncertain how much longer it will take to arrange a deal, but the appointment of Deloitte to evaluate options suggests that Telefonica is taking serious steps toward expanding its fiber operations in Peru and potentially attracting investors.

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