Liberty Latin America Buys AT&T’s Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Island Businesses for $1.95 Billion

John Malone - Getty - H 2019
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The deal will combine AT&T's mobile assets with John Malone's spinoff Internet and TV businesses in the region.

John Malone's Liberty Latin America has acquired AT&T's Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands operations for $1.95 billion in cash as Liberty Global's spinoff company expands in the region.

Around 18 months after Malone split off Liberty Latin America from his Europe-focused telecom business Liberty Global, Malone has revealed a definitive agreement to acquire AT&T's wireless and wireline operations in the region. With the Latin American spinoff company, Liberty Global has eyed more financial and subscriber growth at its Latin America unit as it puts to use the company's European playbook.

The transaction will combine AT&T's mobile assets with Liberty Latin America's Internet and TV businesses in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "This strategic and complementary acquisition is an exciting and unique opportunity to expand our business in one of our best markets," Balan Nair, president and CEO of Liberty Latin America, said Wednesday in a statement.

The deal will also help AT&T continue to reduce its debt load after acquiring Time Warner and renaming it WarnerMedia.

"I’m proud of what our team has built in this region. We look forward to joining Liberty Latin America to continue to deliver a superior experience for our valued customers here. And our committed and talented team will bring a wealth of experience to Liberty Latin America and continue to build on our success in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands," Jose J. Davila, vp and general manager for AT&T in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said in his own statement.

The agreement stipulates AT&T will support Liberty Latin America for up to 36 months after the acquisition to ensure an efficient transition of services. Pending regulatory approvals, Liberty Latin America expects the transaction to close in the second quarter of 2020.