Altice Agrees to Buy 95.5% Stake in Portugal’s Oni

Altice, one of the private equity funds that owns French cable operator Numericable, has agreed to buy a 95.5 percent stake in Portugal’s Oni Communications.

Altice on May 31 agreed to buy The Riverside Company’s 60.9 percent stake in Oni and Gestmin SGPS SA’s 34.6 percent holding in the Lisbon-based company, Oni Chief Executive Officer Pedro Morais Leitao, said in a telephone interview today. The deal was based on an enterprise value of 83 million euros ($107.9 million) for Oni, he said.

“Both Oni shareholders agreed to sell their stakes to Altice,” Morais Leitao said. The deal requires approval from Portugal’s competition authority, he said.

Oni is one of the smallest telecommunications players in Portugal and competes against Portugal Telecom SGPS SA, Zon Multimedia SGPS SA, Sonaecom SGPS SA and Vodafone Group Plc’s unit in the country. It provides voice, data and Internet services to companies and to the Portuguese government, including the Finance Ministry, according to its website.

Portuguese news agency Lusa reported yesterday that Gestmin and Riverside had sold both their stakes in Oni to Altice, citing a statement from Gestmin, a family-owned investment office.

Officials at Luxembourg-based Altice weren’t immediately available for comment. Riverside’s policy is not to comment on any pending transaction, said Stephanie Fraser, a marketing manager at The Riverside Company, while Gestmin Chairman Manuel Champalimaud didn’t immediately return telephone calls.

Altice owns cable operator Cabovisao-Televisao Por Cabo SA in Portugal and may be interested in merging Oni with its cable unit, a person familiar with the matter said on May 23. Altice bought Cabovisao last year for 45 million euros from Cogeco Cable Inc., which paid 465 million euros for the Portuguese company in 2006.