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Spain's Telef´┐Żnica Enters Colombian Market

Spain's telecommunications giant will strengthen its Latin American presence by acquiring 51 percent of Colombia's REY MORENO telephone operator, Telefónica, S.A.

An agreement reached last week by Telefónica Data and the Colombian company paves the way for Telefónica Data Colombia, which will offer a wide range of integrated Internet, data and voice services to local companies.

The acquisition will be complete within three years and Ernesto Rey, current president of REY MORENO, will stay on to direct the new company.

"This agreement means a step toward consolidating the company's presence in the countries of Latin America." stated Guillermo Fernández Vidal, managing director of Telefónica Data. "With the creation of Telefónica Data Colombia, Telefónica Data secures its position as a global company in what is currently one of the most liberalized markets."

Telefónica, the former Spanish state monopoly, is now the largest telecommunications company in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world, with a presence in 15 countries.

More than half the company's 51.5 million customers are in Latin America. Its subsidiary Telefónica Data has more than 15,000 corporate clients. In addition to TD Spain and the newly formed TD Colombia, the company has formed TD Brazil and TD Chile.

REY MORENO, a Latin American leader in value-added telecommunications services, was founded in 1978 and reported US$9 million dollars in sales last year.

The company's telecommunications network joins Colombia's major cities to the outside world and offers a wide variety of services, including Internet, videoconferencing, IP voice and data transmission, and corporate networks.

"By becoming Telefónica Data Colombia, we're bringing into the country the best telecommunications service provider in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world." stated Rey. "At the same time, we're guaranteeing the presence of Colombian talent in Telefónica developments at both the regional and global levels."