Monday , November 30 2020

Constant restructuring of VTR, which shows but does not purchase

He was just in an interview with La Tercera, which was published last May when VTR CEO, Guillermo Ponce, had developed something promising: as part of his new owner, American Liberty Latin America (LLA) released at the end of 2018, under Chile would be the business of the parent company from Santiago to Central America, except Panama.

"We become multiple," says Ponce at the time. It was also important that the two purchases that followed Cabletica, the largest cable operator in Costa Rica, would be publishing a year ago, in the hands of the Chile unit. The executive did not give any option to acquire land in acquisitions, even with the possibility that this could occur on Chile's soil.

Despite the expectations, since then no new purchase announcement has been published.

PULSE Domingo sent a questionnaire to the LLA where the acquisition situation, among other matters, was only sent to Panama, but where the Latin American Liberty operations center has now refused to comment. Silence appears to be a mandate that is followed thoroughly. There were also no big announcements in the call with investors who led Balan Nair, president and CEO of LLA, and CFO, Christopher Noyes on Thursday, and the financial results of the consolidated operations of the company were published during the fourth quarter. quarter 2018

Yes, analysts who are waiting abroad to the company, whose shares are traded on the Nasdaq, listen carefully and among other things that have been asked about what would make a LLA with their cash flow. Nair responded that they analyze investments in current businesses and that they will see "possible combinations and acquisitions", as well as repurchase shares. There was no more detail on which sectors or companies that looked at or specifically addressed.

At the end of last year, Spanish media said that VTR and Entel would have been the race to retain the assets of a Telefónica Spanish company in Central America, which includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama, and # 39 ; and the Spanish company would be willing to consider proposals, in operation accounting between 700 and 800 million euros for a 60% participation. Later, the information refused the information, but LLA has not commented on the matter.

In parallel, a LLA -a conglomerate supported by the John Malone tycoon, has received talks that lasted for weeks for the possible purchase of Millicom International Cellular, mobile operator and cable owned by the Tigo brand and who has an American presence Ladin and Africa. If this business had to be completed, one of the largest telecommunications operators in the region would have been created, giving the company the most possible capacity of this type to compete with some of the region's main players, such as Mexican America Móvil, Telefónica and the American AT & T.

However, on January 22 last year, LLA said that the talks with Millicom had expired, without agreement.

Combined numbers

Anyway, there has been recognition of the LLA leadership that VTR has succeeded in growing in an environment considered one of the most competitive in Latin America. Indeed, Nair said, a full LLA management team – a company that publishes its headquarters announcements in Denver, Colorado – comes to Chile every 30 days. "Our team in Chile is ready to compete and we feel very good about the market," says Nair.

According to the information published by the company, there are VTR leaders in television and broadband in the country, connecting to the HFC (hybrid and coaxial) network to more than 3.5 million high-speed internet and internet television. This is also the second fixed residential telephone company, with 1,462,700 million homes connected to customers in 45 cities in the country between Arica and Coyhaique. In addition, it provides mobile telephony services.

Unlike what happened with the results up to the third quarter of 2018, it is not easy now to see the specific numbers about the financial performance of a Chile subsidiary, given its balance in the fourth quarter 2018 had to come along with Cabletica. He reported the LLA statement that followed a conference call on Thursday 78,000 new contracted services (RGU) in broadband, driven by the performance of the full year VTR subscribers, a 5% growth in revenue and 6% in flow of cash cash.

Yes, it is clear in the text that VTR mobile subscribers have grown 11,000 in the fourth quarter, as that service continues to be sold to the middle of the stable clients that they own. As of December 31, there were a total of 256,000 VTR passenger subscribers, 97% of them in postage schemes.

During investor contact, it was also announced that one of the areas that FLA wants to promote in Chile is the video with a product with remote voice controls, in a joint development with Liberty Global and Comcast.

Cultural change

The partial division of LLA Liberty Global, created by the new independent and open company in the stock market, included the restructuring of Latin American businesses in three key pillars: Cable & Wireless Communications Limited (C & W), with operations in the Caribbean, Latin America to Seychelles; VTR-where Cabletica joins them-; Liberty Cablevision or Puerto Rico, the largest cable operator on the Caribbean island.

The idea of ​​the operation was to ensure that the new company would have access to the capital and resources necessary to achieve higher strategic and financial growth.

But, in addition, he suggested "changing the change", in the words of Ponce, in the way that managers and employees who previously focused on VTR business in the country now see control and extend beyond the borders of Chile . In fact, one of the priorities of Nair, who has echoed the CEO of VTR, has been to create a culture and model within a LLA, which includes in that case that began in Chile to think and work with a regional concept

"Being part of Liberty Latin America, with a unique culture, mission and team has been an interesting process and has included many attempts of every operation," they say from VTR.

"In this process, VTR has played an important part in sharing best practice with other companies in the group, including Costa Rica's operation. It is important to add that we have also acquired more operation, which has enabled us to have more efficiency savings, "adds the company, without wanting to give more details, and earlier this year he has been particularly critical in social networks wanting to dispose of his grill of programs in Chile Films & Arts and EuropaEuropa, which was added to El Gourmet's output, which has been replacing most of the programs with long-term and past programs.

"I think the conclusion would be that we are not afraid to compete. In every place where we operate, we face someone with a good network, you know a good plan and that is not & # 39; do not affect us at all. And I say the same thing about Chile, "he told analysts.

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