Telefonica may sell O2 Ireland to reduce debt

Telecom Lead Europe: Telefonica is considering the sale of its O2 Ireland mobile operator.

The debt-laden Spanish telecoms company has received buying interest from potential suitors, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Telefonica is mulling over expressions of interest from companies including Hutchison Whampoa , the Hong Kong-based owner of rival mobile operator Three.

The non-core O2 Ireland unit could sell for as much as $907.19 million.

Telefonica, which plans to cut debt to under €47 billion by the end of 2013, has disposed of 40 percent of its Central American assets its treasury stock so far this year.

Meanwhile, Telefónica’s Capex for the current year will be €9.45 billion. Its Capex to sales ratio will continue to be 14.2 percent. There will be no growth in Capex this year as compared with 2012. In 2012, Telefonica’s Capex was €9.45 billion.

The European telecom operator improved the Capex efficiency by focusing on growth, reallocating resources to higher-growth operations and services — selective rollout of fiber and VDSL.

In 2012, the telecom major significantly improved service quality and customer satisfaction, strengthening our networks via spectrum acquisition, and prioritizing simplicity in order to best take advantage of shared investment.

Its 2012 Capex of €9,458 million included €586 million mainly relating to the cost of the spectrum in Brazil, Ireland, and Venezuela.

The company devotes bulk of its investments on growth and transformation projects (81 percent of total investment), fostering the expansion of high-speed broadband services, both fixed and mobile. The Capex to sales ratio (excluding spectrum) for 2011 also stood at 14.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Telefonica’s revenues in 2012 decreased 0.8 percent to €62.35 billion.

[email protected]