Altice offers €7 billion for Portugal Telecom

03 November 2014 |

Capacity Europe day 1 – European cable firm Altice has made a €7 billion bid to acquire the Portuguese assets of Portugal Telecom from Brazil’s Oi.

In a statement, Altice said: “these assets comprise the existing business of Portugal Telecom outside of Africa and excludes Portugal Telecom’s Rio Forte debt securities; Oi treasury shares and Portugal Telecom financing vehicles.”

The two companies were thought to be in talks over such an acquisition last month.

Altice’s €7 billion offer is on a cash and debt-free basis, with transaction net of financial debt and other purchase price adjustments to be financed by new debt and existing cash from Altice, the company said.

If accepted, a deal between Portugal Telecom and Altice would terminate the proposed merger between the Portuguese operator and Oi; announced late last year and designed to create a greater company with a stronger balance sheet.

The merger has already been hard hit following a bad debt deal with Espirito Santo bank in Portugal, which left Portugal Telecom in financial difficulty and resulted in the company’s CEO stepping down. However, in July this year Brazilian regulators said that the deal was “not at risk”.

Altice has been eyeing European investments for some time and in April, the company’s subsidiary Numericable made a successful bid to buy French player SFR from Vivendi.

Patrick Drahi, owner of Altice, said during a conference in September 2014 that the company was targeting acquisitions in countries where it already has a presence, such as Portugal and Belgium.