Telecom giant AT&T (T) entered a $1.95 billion deal to sell its wireless and wireline operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
AT&T's stock rose as much as 0.7% after the company said it would sell the operations, which cover 1.1 million wireless subscribers, to Liberty Latin America.
The sale is part of AT&T's larger push to raise cash to pay down debt and buy back shares, among other things. Investors should expect share buybacks to be "in the mix" in Q4 "along with continued delevering," the company said in a statement.
AT&T said the deal also boosts efforts to reach a net debt-to-adjusted EBITDA multiple around 2.5x by year's end.
The telecommunications company said it was on track to raise $11 billion this year through monetizing efforts. The figure includes the pending sale of its operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands.
Company officials say they expect the deal to close in six to nine months, pending a review by the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice."This transaction is a result of our ongoing strategic review of our balance sheet and assets to identify opportunities for monetization," said John Stephens, AT&T chief financial officer, in a statement