Telecom Italia Sells Etecsa Stake to Rafin SA for $706 Million

Telecom Italia SpA sold its 27 percent stake in Cuba’s Etecsa to Rafin SA, a state finance company for the Caribbean island nation, for $706 million.

Telecom Italia, Italy’s biggest telecommunications company, has already received $500 million from Rafin, the provider said today in a statement. The balance will be paid in monthly installments over 36 months.

The sale “concludes a phase of selloffs and portfolio rationalization,” Chief Executive Officer Franco Bernabe said in Rome today, according to Radiocor news agency. The company’s next phase will allow for expansion of operations in Brazil and Argentina, Radiocor cited the CEO as saying.

Telecom Italia, based in Milan, in October raised its stake in Sofora Telecomunicaciones SA, the holding company that controls Telecom Argentina SA, to 58 percent from 50 percent. Etecsa’s formal name is Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA.