Telefonica, the operator of Movistar in Costa Rica and Central America, is exploring the total or partial sale of its Mexican and Central American units with a view to urgently reducing its debt pile and boosting its share price, according to unnamed sources cited by Spanish business daily El Economista.

Telefonica president José María Álvarez-Pallete.

The company has been working secretly on the divestments for several months, said the sources, adding that talks with potential buyers are “fairly advanced” and that an agreement could be reached in the next few weeks if Telefonica’s valuations are met.

The company values its Mexican subsidiary at EUR 1.1 billion to EUR 1.9 billion while its 60 percent stake in the Central American unit encompassing Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama would be worth around EUR 760 million.

The report adds that Telefonica’s Mexican and Central American units contributed EUR 2.23 billion last year, equivalent to just 4.2 percent of the group’s total revenues.

Sources: El Economist; Telecompaper