AT&T said Monday it completed the sale of its wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America, taking in $1.95 billion. The news came several weeks after the WarnerMedia parent got a $1.1 billion cash injection as it officially unloaded its stake in Central European Media to Czech investment firm PPF Group.
The telco and entertainment giant continues to pursue additional “non-core asset monetization opportunities,” it said in a statement. Its net debt was a hefty $149 billion at the end of the September third quarter, down slightly from $151 billion a year ago. At the time of the Time Warner deal closing in 2018, debt was $180 billion and the company has worked assiduously to sell off assets to pay it down, shopping DirecTV and advertising and video game operations.
The Liberty transaction includes employees; network assets and spectrum; real estate and leases; customers, including more than 1 million wireless subscribers; and contracts.
AT&T will retain DirecTV and certain global business customer relationships and FirstNet responsibilities and relationships. Eligible first responders subscribing to FirstNet in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will still have access to the benefits and capabilities — including always-on priority and preemption — of the FirstNet platform.
AT&T plans to use the proceeds to redeem all of the preferred interests in a subsidiary (PR Holdings).