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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 06:37 GMT 07:37 UK
Verizon seals Latin American sale
Verizon chief executive Ivan Seidenberg
Verizon is focussing on the US market
US telephone company Verizon is to sell its Caribbean and Latin American operations for $3.7bn (2.12bn).

The sale is part of Verizon's wider plans to focus on serving customers within the US.

The move includes selling its 52% share in Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico to American Movil, Latin America's largest cell phone company.

Verizon will also sell Verizon Dominicana in the Dominican Republic to America Movil.

In addition it will sell its 29% stake in Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela (CANTV) to a unit owned jointly by America Movil and its former parent Telefonos de Mexico.

The joint venture of America Movil and Telmex has said it will make an offer for the remaining stock of CANTV.

Ivan Seidenburg, chief executive and chairman of Verizon, said the Latin and Caribbean operations "represent a small part of our revenue base that is less aligned with our core business focus and future growth".

The sales strategy is consistent with Verizon's plan to free up money to expand fibre optic connections to subscriber homes in the US, said Christopher King, analyst at Stifel Nicolaus.

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