EQT in 1.8 billion euro bid for Telefonica submarine cables, website reports

FILE PHOTO: Security guards walk past a screen displaying the logo of Spanish Telecom company Telefonica in Madrid

MADRID (Reuters) -The Swedish fund EQT has offered 1.8 billion euros ($2.2 billion) to buy Telefonica’s submarine cable business, Spanish website El Confidencial reported on Tuesday, citing unidentified sources close to the operation.

The Scandinavian private equity firm made a preliminary offer for the business, which is part of Telxius, a Telefonica unit, in which rival fund KKR and Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega’s investment vehicle Pontegadea own minority stakes, the website said.

Telefonica, which is advised by investment banks Societe Generale and Greenhill, would make a decision by the summer, El confidencial said.

The sale is part of a wider Telefonica plan to reduce its debt by selling assets.

A Telefonica spokesman declined to comment, while a spokesman for EQT was not immediately able to comment. Greenhill and Societe Generale did not respond to requests for comment.

($1 = 0.8173 euros)

(Reporting by Michael Susin, Editing by Inti Landauro and Barbara Lewis)