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Liberty Global Eyes Split of Latin America Assets

Liberty Global said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday that it is considering spinning off its Latin American operations – Chile-based broadband and video concern VTR and Puerto Rico cable system Liberty Cablevision – to its shareholders.

The news came as part of a plan to spin off VTR’s financing operations in a new company separate from its European holding company UPC.  As part of that restructuring, Liberty Global said it would issue $1.4 billion in two series of senior secured notes due in 2022 and 2024, beginning on Jan. 13.

As part of the prospectus for the offering, Liberty Global said it is “exploring opportunities with respect to its Latin American operations including a possible spin-off of those operations to Liberty Global’s shareholders.”

Liberty Global owns an 80% interest in VTR and a 60% interest in Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico. According to Liberty Global’s web site, Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico has about 209,000 digital video subscribers, 188,000 broadband subscribers and 122,000 telephony subscribers. As of Sept., 30, 2013, total revenue was about $296.6 million.

VTR is Chile’s largest multichannel television provider with 2.6 million revenue generating units and revenue of nearly $1 billion in the first nine months of 2013.

“Liberty Global’s evaluation of such opportunities is at a preliminary stage, and any alternative pursued will be subject to approval by Liberty Global’s board of directors,” the company said in the filing. “Liberty Global is unable to predict the timing or terms of any spin-off or other transaction that might be pursued, or whether such a transaction will eventually occur.”