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AT&T Is Weighing Sale of Puerto Rican Unit to Pay Down Debt

Scott Moritz
(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc., looking for ways to pay down debt after the $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. last year, is considering the sale of its Puerto Rican operations, according to a person familiar with the situation.The business could fetch about $3 billion, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The potential sale was reported earlier Thursday by Reuters.The telecom giant has been looking to strengthen its balance sheet after the Time Warner purchase turned it into a sprawling media conglomerate. It previously agreed to sell its stake in Hulu and its New York offices -- deals that generated about $3.6 billion.It’s also weighing a sale of its regional sports networks, part of a plan to cut as much as $8 billion in debt by the end of the year, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month. The four regional networks, which includes rights to teams such as the hockey’s Pittsburgh Penguins, basketball’s Houston Rockets and baseball’s Seattle Mariners, could fetch close to $1 billion, the people said.Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson has said the company’s top priority this year is to reduce debt. Investors have generally been supportive of the efforts. The shares are up 16% this year, outpacing the 1.8% gain of top rival Verizon Communications Inc.(Updates with other deals starting in third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc., looking for ways to pay down debt after the $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. last year, is considering the sale of its Puerto Rican operations, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The business could fetch about $3 billion, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The potential sale was reported earlier Thursday by Reuters.

The telecom giant has been looking to strengthen its balance sheet after the Time Warner purchase turned it into a sprawling media conglomerate. It previously agreed to sell its stake in Hulu and its New York offices -- deals that generated about $3.6 billion.

It’s also weighing a sale of its regional sports networks, part of a plan to cut as much as $8 billion in debt by the end of the year, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier this month. The four regional networks, which includes rights to teams such as the hockey’s Pittsburgh Penguins, basketball’s Houston Rockets and baseball’s Seattle Mariners, could fetch close to $1 billion, the people said.

Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson has said the company’s top priority this year is to reduce debt. Investors have generally been supportive of the efforts. The shares are up 16% this year, outpacing the 1.8% gain of top rival Verizon Communications Inc.

(Updates with other deals starting in third paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.