(Updates with shares in fifth paragraph.)
June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Telefonica SA, Spain’s largest phone company, cut the price for the initial public offering of its call-center unit and gave investors another day to place orders.
Telefonica, based in Madrid, reduced the lower end of its price range for the sale of Atento Inversiones & Teleservicios SAU to 17.25 euros ($25.20) a share, compared with a previous range of 19.25 euros to 25 euros apiece. It didn’t give a new maximum price. The company extended the offer period by a day, it said in a filing. At the new price, the stock sale will raise about 580 million euros.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cesar Alierta, who had tried to sell Atento as early as in 2007, is seeking to reduce debt and focus on Latin America to offset declining domestic market share. Atento shares will begin trading June 14, Telefonica said.
“The current market environment is making investors more demanding with the price they’re willing to pay,” Francisco Salvador, a strategist at FGA/MG Valores in Madrid, said by phone yesterday.
Telefonica shares dropped 0.6 percent to 16.33 euros in Madrid trading at 9:56 a.m. The stock has slipped 3.7 percent this year, valuing the phone company at 75 billion euros.
Atento’s revenue rose 26 percent last year to 1.66 billion euros, with the largest part coming from Brazil, while Telefonica had sales of 60.7 billion euros. The unit’s operating profit before depreciation and amortization increased 23 percent to 190 million euros. Atento had 151,896 employees at the end of 2010, accounting for about half of Telefonica’s workforce.
Telefonica sold a stake of its mobile unit Telefonica Moviles SA for 11 euros per share in 2000 in an initial public offering before buying it out in 2006. The Spanish telephone operator also offered 5.25 euros a share for the 62 percent it didn’t own in its internet unit Terra Networks SA in May 2003. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. led an initial public offering of Terra stock to institutional investors at 13 euros in 1999 and the stock soared to 157.65 euros in Feb. 2000.
“Investors still remember other Telefonica listings from which we lost money such as Telefonica Moviles and Terra Networks,” said Luis Benguerel, a trader at Interbrokers in Barcelona.
Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are managing the IPO, along with Banco Santander SA, BNP Paribas SA, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA.
--With assistance from Alexis Xydias and Zijing Wu in London. Editors: Kenneth Wong, Rob Valpuesta
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