AT&T has announced that it plans to sell its wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Liberty Latin America. The transaction includes network assets, including spectrum; real estate and leases; customers, including 1.1 million wireless subscribers; and contracts.
Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will receive $1.95 billion in cash. The transaction is subject to review by the FCC and the Department of Justice. The two companies expect the deal to close within 6 to 9 months.
Approximately 1,300 current AT&T employees will move to Liberty Latin America. To ensure a smooth transition for its customers, AT&T will provide certain transition support functions to Liberty Latin America following close of the transaction. Under terms of the agreement, AT&T will retain FirstNet responsibilities and relationships as well as DIRECTV and certain global business customer relationships.
The sale does not affect AT&T’s FirstNet commitment. AT&T retains its dedicated FirstNet network core and service capabilities. Among other services, post-close Liberty Latin America will support AT&T’s FirstNet build in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, expanding LTE coverage and capacity to best meet the needs of first responders in the region. Eligible first responders subscribing to AT&T’s FirstNet services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will still have access to the benefits and capabilities of the FirstNet network platform, including priority and preemption.
“I’m proud of AT&T’s history in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Jose J. Davila, AT&T Vice President-General Manager for the region. “I’m especially proud of our network and the recent network enhancements that have helped AT&T rank as the fastest network in Puerto Rico. AT&T also has the most coverage on the island, according to Mosaik. Our experienced and committed team members will continue to support these operations as we join Liberty Latin America. Liberty Latin America has expressed its commitment to provide high-quality communications services to the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And we’re confident that it is equally committed to supporting these communities.”
“The combination of AT&T’s leading mobile and wired businesses with Liberty Puerto Rico’s leading high-speed broadband and TV business will create a strong and competitive integrated communications player,” said Balan Nair, president and CEO, Liberty Latin America. “At Liberty Latin America, we are focused on investing in digital infrastructure, innovation and 5G networks and on delivering a friendly customer service experience. This transaction is evidence of that, and we are confident that this new combination will be good for our customers and our employees, including those joining us from AT&T.”