Telefonica sells call center unit to Bain Capital

MADRID -- Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica has agreed to sell its call center business Atento to private equity group Bain Capital for (EURO)1 billion ($1.3 billion) to lower debt.

Telefonica SA is trying to reduce its debts worth (EURO)58 billion ($75.2 billion) through the sale of non-essential businesses.

In a statement Friday, Telefonica says the deal includes a "conditional deferred payment of (EURO)110 million ($142.7 million)" and a grant of vendor financing of the same amount. It also says Telefonica will remain Atento's service provider for nine years.

Telefonica expects to obtain regulatory approval and complete the deal by the end of December.

Telefonica says Atento is the biggest call center operation in Latin America and the second largest in the world, with 152,000 employees in over 15 countries.