Chile’s VTR plays a central role in Liberty’s new structure

After Liberty Global’s restructuring process, Chilean pay TV operator VTR now plays a central role since it will be in charge of managing the new acquisitions of Liberty Latin America in the region, from Chile to Central America, with the exception of Panama, explained VTR CEO Guillermo Ponce in an interview with La Tercera.
Earlier this year, Liberty Global completed the split-off of its new business unit for Latin America, while in February it announced the purchase of 80% of pay TV operator Cabletica. “The VTR team is going to be functionally in charge of the Costa Rican businesses”, said Ponce. “There are a general manager there, but he will report to me. There is hierarchical dependence of the local manager and functional dependency towards the different functions that exist in VTR,” the executive explained. In this way, “the VTR team becomes a corporate team, because we have to prepare to host other countries.”
According to Ponce, “the strategy is not very different from the one that was set up in Europe in the last decade, where Liberty was buying those operations, unifying technologies and gaining scale that allowed it to have the size it has”.
Regarding possible acquisitions in the region, the director said that “in all countries there are important assets” and stressed that in Latin America “there is a predominance of Mexicans and Spaniards (América Móvil and Telefónica) that are practically in all countries, accompanied by one or two independent competitors”. Asked particularly about Chile and operators such as Entel and Grupo GTD, among others, Ponce said: “We do not rule out anything a priori. Moreover, in the stability aspect, Chile is number one and there are opportunities.”
The executive said that the purchase of Cabletica is in the approval phase by the regulatory bodies and they expect to complete the process by the end in June or July.