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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

AT&T Sells Latin American Satellite Business to Argentina’s Grupo Werthein

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AT&T Inc. said it agreed to sell its Vrio satellite business in Latin America to Argentina’s Grupo Werthein, continuing the Dallas telecom giant’s move away from the television business.

The sale covers 10.3 million subscribers across 11 countries in the Western Hemisphere, including Argentina, Chile and Colombia, inherited from AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV. The wireless carrier said the sale will trigger a $4.6 billion accounting charge, which includes $2.1 billion tied to “accumulated foreign currency translation adjustments.”

AT&T is slated to report quarterly earnings on Thursday.

An AT&T spokesman said the transaction carries an enterprise value of $500 million, which will be paid over the next few years. The companies expect to close the deal in early 2022.

Vrio has struggled with challenges unique to its home turf, including foreign-exchange rate swings and economic downturns in key markets including Brazil, where the unit holds a controlling stake in satellite-TV service Sky Brasil. The company previously wrote down its operations in Venezuela, where diplomatic tensions with the U.S. threatened the business.

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