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Telefonica sells mobile phone masts to American Towers for $9.4 bln

MADRID, Jan 13 (Reuters) - Spanish telecom company Telefonica said on Wednesday it agreed to sell its mobile phone masts in Europe and Latin America to U.S.-based telecom infrastructure operator American Towers for 7.7 billion euros ($9.41 billion) in cash.

Under the terms of the deal, Telefonica’s infrastructure unit Telxius will hand over the company’s mobile phone masts in Spain, Germany, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

Telefonica also said it plans to use the proceeds of the sale, which include a capital gain of about 3.5 billion euros, to reduce its net financial debt by 4.6 billion euros.

The Spanish company has said for the past two years that it planned to reduce its exposure to Latin America where profit margins have dwindled to reduce its debt. ($1 = 0.8187 euros) (Reporting by Inti Landauro; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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