Zon Multimedia, Sonaecom Rise on Unit Merger Plan: Lisbon Mover

Zon Multimedia SGPS SA (ZON) and Sonaecom SGPS SA advanced in Lisbon trading after an agreement was reached on a plan to merge Sonaecom’s Optimus unit with Zon, Portugal’s biggest cable-television provider.

Lisbon-based Zon climbed 6.2 percent to 2.99 euros, the highest close since July 2011. Sonaecom added 0.9 percent to 1.55 euros after earlier rising as much as 17 percent, the biggest intraday jump since October 2008. Sonaecom parent company Sonae (SON) SGPS SA advanced 3.9 percent.

“We have defended a merger of the two companies for a long time,” Alexandra Delgado, a Lisbon-based analyst at Banco Comercial Portugues SA, said in a note to clients. “This agreement, as a first step to a possible merger, is therefore positive,” she said. Delgado has buy ratings on Sonaecom and Zon.

Sonaecom said Dec. 14 that it agreed with Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos to recommend a merger of Optimus (MLOPT), Portugal’s smallest mobile-phone operator, and Zon. Dos Santos is the biggest shareholder in Zon, with a 28.8 percent stake held through Kento Holding Ltd. and Jadeium BV.

Sonae SGPS formed a partnership last year with a company controlled by dos Santos to open a chain of Angolan hypermarkets. Zon was spun off from Portugal Telecom (PTC) SGPS SA following Sonaecom’s failed bid for the former phone monopoly in 2007. Sonaecom competes with Portugal Telecom’s TMN mobile unit and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) for mobile customers in Portugal, while Zon competes against Portugal Telecom’s Meo cable unit.

Portugal Telecom shares fell 1 percent to 3.79 euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joao Lima in Lisbon at jlima1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Foxwell at sfoxwell@bloomberg.net

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