Altice continues multiplay crusade with €7.4bn Portugal Telecom acquisition

Acquisitive French telco Altice wasted little time after sealing the SFR deal before announcing it has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire the Portuguese assets of Portugal Telecom from Brazilian telco Oi for €7.4 billion.

This announcement also draws to a close the saga of CorpCo, first announced over a year ago, in which Oi and Portugal Telecom were going to merge. The move was dogged a number of murky financial dealings involving some ill-advised debt Portugal Telecom had taken on, and further complicated by a degree of financial inter-dependence between Oi and PT.

Altice already has some fixed-line assets in Portugal, so this deal will position it as a mutliplay heavyweight in Portugal, much as the SFR deal has done for its Numericable subsidiary in France. This kind of deal making is very fashionable among European telcos at the moment, with BT considering a major multiplay move and Vodafone apparently constantly on the look out for such opportunities since it sold off its stake in Verizon.

It has already been reported that Altice plans to form some kind of strategic alliance with the Portuguese postal operator if the deal goes through, and these kinds of moves are likely to catalyse defensive responses from competitors. It’s thought that Oi will use the proceeds of the deal to get its house in order, but it would be no surprise if a few more complications present themselves before this deal can be completed.

Here’s how the Portugal Telecom acquisition would fit into the Altice group. The percentages indicate what proportion of the subsidiary is owned by Altice. 20% of Numericable is still owned by Vivendi and 20% is public.

Altice corp chart

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