To focus on markets in Argentina and Brazil
Italy’s telecommunications company Telecom Italia has sold its 27% stake in Cuba telecoms operator Etecsa to Cuban company Rafin for $706m.
Telecom Italia chief executive Franco Bernabe said the deal was the culmination of the sales process and according to the targets that were set three years ago.
The sale of the Etecsa stake is said to be an attempt by the Italian operator to reduce its debt pile and to focus on growing markets in Argentina and Brazil and its domestic operations.
Bernabe said a new phase now starts for the company, which will focus on "Brazil and Argentina operations, with a strong expansion potential."
In August 2010, Telecom Italia struck a deal with the Werthein Group to increase its stake in the company that controls Telecom Argentina from 50% to 58%.
In Brazil, stronger sales and an increase in higher margin traffic helped Telecom Italia post a 24% rise in overall earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the first nine months of 2010.