LONDON, Jan 5 (IFR) - Altice will launch its jumbo bond deal backing the acquisition of Oi's Portuguese operations very soon if a crucial shareholder vote goes its way, according to sources close to the deal.
While the European cable company already has approval from Brazil's Oi, it still needs to win the backing of shareholders in Portugal Telecom SGPS, the holding company which owns 25.6% of Oi.
The shareholder vote is due to take place at a general meeting on January 12. The approval of the sale will require a two-thirds majority.
"If it is approved Altice have the ability to be in the market relatively quickly," said a banker close to the issue.
"The vote should go through, although Isabel dos Santos could still remain a problem even though she's dropped her offer."
Angolan billionaire businesswoman Isabel dos Santos threatened to thwart Altice's ambitions to acquire the Portuguese assets but dropped her EUR1.2bn bid for Portugal Telecom SGPS at the end of December.
Altice is known for bringing M&A bond deals to market in a very quick time frame, partially due to the pedigree of its management team.
Before joining Altice, the company's CFO Dennis Okhuijsen worked for over 15 years at Liberty Global, which is known for its speed at executing high-yield bond deals. Similarly, CEO Dexter Goei has a lot of experience in debt financing, having previously headed up Morgan Stanley's European TMT group.
Altice has to fund a EUR5.7bn-equivalent (US$6.84bn) cash consideration, the majority if not all of which will be debt, according to sources.
It is also expected to raise the bulk of the financing in the US dollar high-yield bond market due to the favourable cross-currency swap. Altice declined to comment.
Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are the lead banks that have underwritten the debt raise, although other banks will join the process later. (Reporting by Robert Smith, editing by Alex Chambers, Julian Baker)