Telefonica sells travel agency in debt-cutting drive

MADRID Fri Nov 2, 2012 2:50pm GMT

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MADRID Nov 2 (Reuters) - Indebted Spanish telecoms company Telefonica and leisure group Orizonia have sold their jointly-held online travel agency Rumbo to Switzerland's Bravofly, they said in a joint statement on Friday.

The firms did not specify the price, but market sources said the disposal raised 74 million euros ($96 million).

Rumbo offers cheap plane and train fares as well as hotel bookings, and operates in several European and Latin American countries.

Telefonica has sold a number of assets this year to pare its 58 billion euro debt, including part of its stake in China Unicom and call centre business Atento.

The money raised from selling Rumbo will have little impact on its debt position compared to these larger asset disposals.

Europe's largest telecoms company by revenue said this week it would buy back preference shares worth 2 billion euros as part of its debt reduction plan.

The company, which earlier this year scrapped its dividend payment to save cash, reports third quarter results on Nov. 7.

($1 = 0.7730 euros) (Reporting by Robert Hetz, Writing by Clare Kane, Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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