Liberty Latin America has acquired Telefonica’s wireless operations in Costa Rica for US$500 million. The wireless unit will be merged with Cabletica, a fixed line service provider in which Liberty holds 80% stake.
Telefonica had previously attempted to sell the Costa Rican unit together with its operations in Nicaragua and Panama. In February 2019, it almost reached an agreement with Millicom but the deal fell through after regulators in Nicaragua and Panama made no moves to approve the sale.
Many analysts thought that Costa Rica’s regulator may stand in the way of the acquisition, pointing to Liberty’s wireless operations under the Movistar brand that it already has in the country. It did not.
“By combining our fixed business, Cabletica, with the mobile network operating under the Movistar brand, we will offer greater value to our customers,” Liberty stated in a press release.
Telefonica is the second largest wireless operator in Costa Rica, with its 4G/LTE network covering almost 90% of the Central American country. According to local media reports, Telefonica has 2.3 million subscribers.
Liberty grew into a regional telecom giant after it acquired Cable & Wireless, a leading telecom operator in the Caribbean.
Today the carrier is operating in more than 20 markets across the region, under various brands including Flow, BTC and VTR.