July 9, 2016 / 11:47 AM / a year ago

Telefonica raises $364 million from China Unicom share sale: sources

The logo of Spanish telecommunication giant Telefonica, is seen during company's annual shareholders meeting in Madrid, Spain, May 12, 2016.Sergio Perez

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica SA (TEF.MC) has raised about $364 million by selling some of its shares in China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd (0762.HK), China's No. 2 telecommunications service provider, sources with direct knowledge of the deal told IFR.

Telefonica earlier launched an offer to sell 361.8 million shares, or a 1.5 percent stake, in an indicative price band of HK$7.75 ($0.9991) and HK$7.85 per share, a discount of up to 2.9 percent to the last traded price.

The deal was priced at HK$7.80 per share, raising HK$2.82 billion ($363.53 million) for Telefonica, the sources told Thomson Reuters IFR publication. They declined to be named as the information is not yet public.

Telefonica did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment, while phone calls to China Unicom's office in Hong Kong after regular business hours went unanswered.

Prior to Saturday's share sale, Telefonica owned about 600 million China Unicom shares, representing a 2.5 percent stake, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Telefonica has been selling stakes in non-core assets.

Last month, Telefonica said it was sticking to its 2016 targets despite the decision from Britain to leave the European Union, which could potentially hit its business in the country and the group's balance sheet.

The firm is considering a partial or total sale of its telecoms masts unit Telxius and British business O2, but said it is not in a rush to decide.

Reporting by Fiona Lau and; Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Louise Heavens

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