UPDATE 1-Altice set to buy Oi's Portugal operations

domingo 30 de noviembre de 2014 17:39 GYT

(Adds Altice statement)

By Leila Abboud and Guillermo Parra-Bernal

PARIS/SAO PAULO Nov 30 (Reuters) - Telecoms group Altice SA has agreed to buy the Portuguese operations of Brazil's Grupo Oi for about 7.4 billion euro ($9.2 billion), it said in a statement on Sunday.

"Altice announces that it has entered into an exclusivity agreement with Oi to agree the purchase of the Portuguese assets of Portugal Telecom," said the statement.

The two sides will spend three weeks to finalise the acquisition and complete due diligence.

Altice beat out a rival bid from private equity funds Apax and Bain, and will now add another country to its portfolio of cable and mobile companies in France, Israel, and the Dominican Republic among others.

Controlled by Franco-Israeli billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, Altice is fresh from completing its biggest acquisition last Thursday via subsidiary French cable company Numericable 's buy of mobile operator SFR.

The deal with Oi marks the effective unwinding of Oi's ill-fated merger with Portugal Telecom, which hit the rocks earlier this year when the Portuguese side lost hundreds of millions of euros in the country's Espirito Santo banking scandal.

Altice already owns two small cable companies in Portugal and buying the former state-owned monopoly Portugal Telecom would vault it into prime position to compete with Vodafone and Optimus.   Continuación...