Angolan President’s Daughter Bids to Buy Portugal TelecomJoao Lima
Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s president, made a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.5 billion) bid for Portugal Telecom SGPS SA, the holding company that owns a minority stake in the carrier created from a merger with Brazilian telecommunications carrier Oi SA.
Dos Santos, an investor in Portugal Telecom rival Nos SGPS SA, is offering 1.35 euros a share through Lisbon-based Terra Peregrin-Participacoes SGPS SA, 11 percent more than the stock’s Nov. 7 close, according to a filing yesterday. Conditions include an acceptance level of more than 50 percent and no major changes such as a sale of strategic assets. Portugal Telecom rose as much as 15 percent in Lisbon.
Portugal Telecom no longer controls the operating assets of the country’s former phone monopoly after its merger with Brazil’s largest landline carrier. Oi, which is selling assets in Portugal and Africa, is considering a 7 billion-euro offer made this month by billionaire Patrick Drahi’s Altice SA for the Portuguese assets.
In a statement today, Rio de Janeiro-based Oi said it considers any changes to the terms agreed with Portugal Telecom “inopportune.”
Oi and Portugal Telecom agreed a year ago on a combination to create a carrier with 100 million customers to compete against Telefonica SA and Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB. In July, the companies renegotiated the transaction to give Portugal Telecom a smaller stake in the combined entity after it emerged that the Lisbon-based partner was holding 897 million euros in short-term debt defaulted by Rioforte Investments SA, part of the Espirito Santo Group.
Portugal Telecom is now the owner of the debt. The holding company also has veto rights over a sale of the Portuguese assets, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The shares traded 7.8 percent higher at 1.31 euros as of 12:44 p.m. in Lisbon.
Terra Peregrin plans to keep the main strategic guidelines set by Portugal Telecom’s board and the objectives “inherent” to the merger agreements signed by Portugal Telecom and Oi, “subject to some changes to the calendar,” it said in its statement.
Caixa-Banco de Investimento SA, the investment banking unit of Portuguese state-owned lender Caixa Geral de Depositos SA, is assisting with the offer, Terra Peregrin said.
Assets that Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman, has invested in include Nos, Portugal’s biggest cable-television provider, and Banco BPI SA, a Portuguese bank that is also active in Angola.
She is also a shareholder in Unitel SA, Angola’s largest mobile-phone carrier. She and other Unitel investors argued in March that they should have a right of first refusal if Portugal Telecom’s stake in Unitel changes hands. Portugal Telecom has disputed that assertion.
Portuguese shareholders in Portugal Telecom include Ongoing Strategy Investments, Grupo Visabeira SGPS SA and Novo Banco SA, the bank that emerged from the breakup of Banco Espirito Santo SA.
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