Home Business AT&T selling Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands businesses to Liberty Latin America for $1.95 billion in cash – MarketWatch

AT&T selling Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands businesses to Liberty Latin America for $1.95 billion in cash – MarketWatch

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AT&T Inc.

T, +0.34%

said Wednesday that it will sell both its wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America for $1.95 billion in cash. The companies expect the deal to close in the next six-to-nine months. The sale includes network assets, leases and real estate, 1.1 million wireless subscribers and contracts. About 1,300 AT&T employees will move over to Liberty Latin America when the deal closes. The sale doesn’t impact AT&T’s commitment to FirstNet, a network for public safety, DirecTV and some global business customer relationships. Liberty Latin America will support AT&T as it builds out its FirstNet network in Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands. “This transaction is a result of our ongoing strategic review of our balance sheet and assets to identify opportunities for monetization,” said John Stephens, AT&T chief financial officer, in a statement. This deal brings the completed or announced monetization for this year to $11 billion. AT&T also said shareholders should expect buybacks to be “in the mix” in the fourth quarter. AT&T stock has gained 29.5% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index

SPX, +0.88%

is up 15.4% for the period.

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