Liberty Latin America to Acquire Telefonica’s Operations in Costa Rica29 Jul 2020 in
LIBERTY LATIN AMERICA TO ACQUIRE TELEFONICA’S OPERATIONS IN COSTA RICA
STRATEGIC COMBINATION OF FIXED AND MOBILE OPERATIONS
Denver, Colorado – July 30, 2020: Liberty Latin America Ltd. (“Liberty Latin America” or “LLA”) (NASDAQ: LILA and LILAK, OTC Link: LILAB) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Telefónica S.A.’s (“Telefónica”) wireless operations in Costa Rica (“Telefónica Costa Rica”), one of Costa Rica’s largest mobile service providers. The all-cash transaction values Telefónica Costa Rica at an enterprise value of $500 million on a cash- and debt-free basis. This equates to an estimated multiple of 6.0x Telefónica Costa Rica’s fiscal year 2019 Adjusted OIBDA1, including projected annual run-rate synergies2.
Balan Nair, President and CEO of Liberty Latin America, commented, “We have had great success in Costa Rica through our 2018 investment in 80%-owned Cabletica, a leading fixed-provider in the country and one of LLA’s fastest growing businesses, and are excited to increase our investment in the country. Telefónica Costa Rica has delivered strong financial performance, including high single-digit top-line growth and strong double-digit Adjusted OIBDA growth from 2017-20193. Combined with Cabletica, we look forward to creating a leading integrated communications player providing customers in Costa Rica with high-quality value propositions and unparalleled customer service. This transaction comes at an attractive valuation, consistent with our disciplined approach towards M&A.”
Telefónica Costa Rica is Costa Rica’s second largest mobile service provider [link]. As of June 30, 2020, the business had 2.3 million subscribers4, and its mobile network currently has approximately 90% LTE population coverage.
Liberty Latin America intends for Telefónica Costa Rica to become part of the VTR credit pool, which will also include Cabletica, and to finance the acquisition (including fees and expenses) with incremental local borrowings and borrowings at VTR Finance N.V., targeting approximately 4x debt on the acquired asset’s Adjusted OIBDA. The remaining funding is anticipated to come from LLA liquidity including future free cash flow generation, as well as other forms of debt and/or equity capital.
The transaction is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in the first half of 2021.
Advisory and financing services to Liberty Latin America on the transaction have been provided by JP Morgan, LionTree and Scotiabank.