UPDATE 3-Telecoms group Altice set to buy Oi's Portugal operations

lunes 1 de diciembre de 2014 09:03 GYT

(Adds further details, length of exclusivity period)

By Leila Abboud and Guillermo Parra-Bernal

PARIS/SAO PAULO Dec 1 (Reuters) - Telecoms group Altice SA has agreed to buy the Portuguese operations of Brazil's Grupo Oi for about 7.4 billion euros ($9.2 billion), in what will be its third big acquisition this year.

Altice's founder, Franco-Israeli telecoms entrepreneur Patrick Drahi, has been on an expansion drive with deals this year worth some $30 billion, and is on track to add Portugal to his portfolio of cable and mobile telecoms companies in France, Israel, and the Dominican Republic.

For Oi, Brazil's largest fixed-line telephone provider, the sale marks the effective unwinding of its 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.

Shares in Altice jumped more than 6 percent to 57.50 euros in morning trade as investors welcomed the deal, even though Altice had to raise the value of its original offer by 375 million euros to see off a competing bid from private equity funds Apax Partners and Bain Capital.

ING analyst Emmanuel Carlier estimated that the Portugal deal would add about 9 euros per share to Altice's valuation.

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

The two sides will now work to finalise the acquisition and complete due diligence during what Oi's statement said was a 90-day exclusivity period.   Continuación...