AT&T to sell off Latin American Vrio pay TV unit

AT&T has reached a deal to sell off its Latin American DirecTV business unit.

The company announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to sell Vrio Corp to the Argentinian investment group Grupo Werthein.

The announcement comes after AT&T took a US$4.6 billion impairment charge in Q2 2021 as it had classified Vrio as ‘held-for-sale’. That charge included US$2.1 billion related to accumulated foreign currency translation adjustments

Grupo Werthein is a private holding company that has been doing business in Latin America and internationally for more than 100 years and has extensive experience in telecommunications, finance, insurance, agribusiness and real estate.

Vrio currently has 10.3 million subscribers across 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The operator provides live and on-demand video services via DirecTV Latin America, Sky Brasil and DirecTV Go. 

The sale however does not include AT&T’s 41.3% interest in Sky Mexico.

The deal is part of AT&T’s attempts to cut some of its astronomical debt, which stood at US$155.2 billion at the end of 2020. 

The terms of the Vrio Corp deal have not been announced, but it is expected to close in early 2022.

Lori Lee, CEO AT&T Latin America, said: “This transaction will further allow us to sharpen our focus on investing in connectivity for customers. We remain committed to Latin America through our wireless business in Mexico and services for multinational corporations operating in the region.”

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