Juan Villalonga, president of Spanish multimedia giant Telefonica, announced at a shareholders meeting on Friday (April 7) that the company has postponed its planned flotation of audiovisual unit, Telefoncia Media, due to concerns over falling prices for media and Internet stock.
"Content companies around the world are undervalued and if we continue to grow then we will give a much greater worth to shareholders," Villalonga said.
The company instead plans to sell stock in Telefonica SAM-1, an undersea cable company. SAM-1, a joint venture with Tyco International which is connecting the US and Central and South America with fibre-optic cables, is estimated to be worth between $9bn-$11bn.
Villalonga also signalled the forthcoming creation in Catalonia of a new Internet subsidiary to focus on e-commerce, and said existing subsidiary Telefonica Data will not float yet either.
Shareholders at Friday's meeting also approved an amplification of capital and the creation of new shares in order to complete the buy-outs of Brazilian telecoms operator Telesp and Dutch production house Endemol Entertainment.
The euros5.5bn Endemol deal reveals Telefonica's need for content to feed its multiple distribution platforms. Acknowledging this, Villalonga told shareholders Friday that "after the explosion in telecommunications will come the explosion in content, and at Telefonica we want to be prepared for that."