Aiming to reduce its debt burden, Telefonica announced plans on Tuesday to sell a 23.2% stake in its German wireless unit, O2 Germany, through an initial public offering that is expected to reap proceeds in excess of $1.97 billion. The stake in O2 Germany, Germany’s fourth-largest mobile carrier, will be listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange by October 30 at a price range of €5.25-€6.50 (US$6.89-$8.53) per share. At the midpoint of the price range, analysts predict that the offer will raise €1.5 billion. Following on Telefonica’s agreement last week to sell its Atento call center business to Bain Capital for €1 billion, sources say the IPO reflects Telefonica’s strategy of raising cash through the sale of assets in an effort to pare down the company’s debt load of €58 billion (US$76 billion). Upon completion of the offer, Telefonica will remain as the majority shareholder of O2 Germany with a 77% stake. Although second-quarter revenues for Telefonica’s domestic operations in Spain fell by 13% from a year earlier, O2 Germany posted a second quarter profit of €55 million that is double the amount reported for the same period last year. Voicing contentment with his company’s performance, O2 Germany CEO Rene Shuster told reporters, “we expect to be able to show good year-on-year growth in many metrics.”