Altice wins bid for battle-scarred Portugal Telecom

Altice wins bid for battle-scarred Portugal Telecom

Following months of rumours and speculative bidding, it emerged yesterday that French telecommunications giant Altice is set to buy battle-scarred Portugal Telecom for €7.4 billion. Owning company Oi, which decided it did not want PT after the latter was discovered to be €900 million out-of-pocket due to the BES debacle, will now enter exclusive negotiations with Altice, with a completed deal “due within three weeks”.
Reporting the news, telecommunications website Telecom TV said this sees the attempt to take over PT by Angolan millionairess Isabel dos Santos – daughter of Angola’s president Eduardo dos Santos – bowled well into the long grass.
Also interested in PT were private equity companies Apax and Bain, in partnership with Portuguese conglomerate Semapa.
But as Telecom TV writes, “it looks like Altice has triumphed and a revitalised PT will square up against Vodafone and Optimus (Zon)”.
Altice is owned by French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi and has telecoms assets in both these countries (as well as Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the French Caribbean, Dominican Republic and two small cable firms in Portugal), while the website reports that Oi is “struggling with debt” but keen to sell off assets (like PT) in order to make a bid to TIM Brazil.