Telefonica may buy AT&T's LatAm pay TV assets valued at $10 bn

Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica SA is keen on buying AT&T Inc's pay TV assets in Latin America valued at around $10 billion, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

AT&T is yet to decide if it will explore a deal with Telefonica or choose another company, the report said.

AT&T had last year acquired the Latin American assets as part of its purchase of DirecTV for $67.1-billion including debt of 18.6 billion. (See: AT&T completes DirecTV acquisition)

AT&T's Latin American assets includes satellite and cable television services in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and several other countries.

AT&T is the biggest player in Central and South America with more than 17 million pay TV subscribers.

DirecTV Latin America holds 93 per cent in Sky Brasil, and 41 per cent in Sky Mexico. It owns PanAmericana, which operates in Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Puerto Rico.

Commentators say there may be others who would be interested in AT&T's assets in specific countries, with one potential buyer being Liberty Global Plc, the report added.

Telefónica is one of the world's largest telecommunications company in terms of market capitalisation and number of customers.

The company operates in 21 countries and has more than 327 million customers with a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America.

It posted net profit €52.9 billion last year on revenues of €50.3 billion.

However, the Madrid-based company is trying to reduce its massive debt of $54 billion. It recently agreed to sell its UK O2 division to CK Hutchinson Holdings for $15 billion and also plans to spin off or sell its Spanish infrastructure division this year.