Telefónica sells Irish unit to Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong

Deal includes upfront payment of 780 million euros

Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica has reached an agreement to sell its Irish O2 unit to Hong Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa, in a deal worth 850 million euros. The move comes as part of the group’s attempts to bring its debt to below 47 billion euros by the end of 2013, according to information the company filed with the Spanish market watchdog, the CNMV.

The deal, which had been openly discussed for the last few weeks, involves an upfront payment of 780 million euros and deferred payments of 70 million euros, dependent on whether the company meets certain financial targets, about which no further details have been given. The 780-million payment will go directly toward the reduction of Telefónica’s net debt, according to the company.

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