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AT&T’s subsidiary Vrio files for IPO

Vrio Corp, the DirectTV business of AT&T (T) based in Latin America, which confidentially filed for an IPO early this year, said it expects to raise about $653 million through the process.

Courtesy – Wikimedia Commons

Based on the latest amended form filed by Vrio, it is said that the firm expects to value its 29.68 million shares of Class A common stock in the range of about $19 to $22 per share. The company has also highlighted the possibility of an additional allotment of 4.45 million shares. Vrio plans to publicly trade its share on NYSE under the ticker VRIO.

AT&T, which is currently battling it out with the U.S. Department of Justice over its proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner (TWX), initially planned to unload this Texas-based unit – that includes satellite and cable TV services – in order to pay down its debt which would soar after it seals the deal with Time Warner.

Vrio– that offers services to Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina — sees a huge potential in Latin America mostly due to the improved economic conditions as well as the regulatory environment. In fact, the company has had a strong financial performance but has a distance to travel to prove its mettle as a separate entity – especially in the current competitive market.

Founded in 1996, Vrio was acquired by AT&T in 2015 as part of its acquisition of DirectTV. Currently, AT&T stands as a sole shareholder of the company that is headed by Jeffery McElfresh. Vrio’s satellite pay-TV network offers services to about 7.9 million Americans. At the end of 2017, Vrio’s subscriber rate surged 9.3 %.  Even after Vrio’s IPO, AT&T would retain its major voting control over the unit.

As of December 31, 2017, Vrio reported revenue growth of over 11% to $5.57 billion. The company had a total of $443 million in cash. DirectTV Latin America reported 10.9% growth in its revenue last year to $5.57 billion.

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