25 June 2019
Patrick Drahi is expanding his telecommunications empire in Europe. Photo: Bloomberg
Patrick Drahi is expanding his telecommunications empire in Europe. Photo: Bloomberg

Billionaire Drahi to buy Oi Portuguese assets for US$9.1 bln

Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi is set to further expand his telecommunications empire in Europe by acquiring the Portuguese phone assets of Brazil’s Oi SA for 7.4 billion euros (US$9.1 billion).

Oi’s board approved the sale of PT Portugal SGPS SA to Altice SA, Drahi’s Luxembourg-based cable holding company, Bloomberg News reported, citing a statement from the Brazilian company.

The deal includes a consideration of 500 million euros related to PT Portugal’s future revenue. The price Altice is paying for the assets in Portugal, as well as Hungary, will be adjusted when the transaction is completed, the report said.

The purchase is expected to increase annual sales at Altice’s businesses to more than 15 billion euros. It will make Altice a stronger competitor to NOS SGPS SA, Portugal’s biggest cable-TV provider, as well as wireless provider Vodafone Group Plc.

For Rio de Janeiro-based Oi, the proceeds will help the phone company pare its debt and shift back its focus to Brazil, South America’s largest telecommunications market.

“With this step concluded, Oi continues its objective of reinforcing its financial capacity in order to maintain its objective of leading the consolidation movement in the Brazilian telecommunications market,” Oi said in its statement.

The companies began exclusive talks on Dec. 1 after Altice raised its offer, topping a rival bid by Apax Partners LLP and Bain Capital, the report said.

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