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Telefonica Sees No Need for Share Sale of British Unit

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Telefonica SA, which last month sold shares in its German unit and is considering an initial public offering for its Latin America business, said there’s no need to do the same in the U.K.

“I’m very focused on the local market,” Ronan Dunne, chief executive officer of Telefonica’s O2 U.K. unit, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “There is no need to IPO other businesses other than the Latin American business, which they have signaled they’re looking at.”

The offering of Telefonica’s German unit was the biggest European IPO this year. Madrid-based Telefonica, Europe’s most indebted phone company, has also explored an IPO of its Latin American business. In the past months, the Spanish operator has also sold a stake in China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and disposed of the Atento call-center division.

Telefonica’s O2 unit lost its No. 1 position in the British market when France Telecom SA and Deutsche Telekom AG combined their local units in 2009 to form a 50-50 joint venture, now called EE. The business has drawn interest from private-equity companies, France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard said last week, adding that the companies may also consider an IPO for EE.

Telefonica rose 0.6 percent to 10.07 euros ($12.86) at 2:29 p.m. in Madrid trading. The stock had declined 25 percent this year through Nov. 16.

To contact the reporters on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net; Francine Lacqua in London at flacqua@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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