Telefonica raises €322m from China Unicom stake sale 

Spanish incumbent cuts shareholding by 1.5% as part of its debt-reduction plan.
Telefonica sold a 1.51% stake in China Unicom for €322 million, as it looks to reduce its hefty debt.
Following the sale, Telefonica's stake in China Unicom now stands at close to 1%.
"Telefonica maintains its commitment to the strategic alliance with China Unicom, recently strengthened through cooperation in digital areas such as the big data joint venture between both companies," said Telefonica, in a regulatory filing.

>Indeed, Telefonica and China Unicom formed a joint venture in January that allows Telefonica to offer big data services in China.

The two companies have worked together on various 'digital initiatives'since 2009.In September 2015,they established a cloud collaboration deal providing access to one another's data centres, for example.

The last time Telefonica sold China Unicom shares was in November 2014. The Spanish incumbent cut its stake to 2.5% from 5%, raising €687 million to fund acquisitions.

At the time,had just closed its acquisition of E-Plus in Germany and was in the process of acquiring Brazilian fixed-line provider GVT.

This time round though, Telefonica needs the cash to reduce its net debt, which stood at €50.21 billion at the end of March.

Source: Total Telecom