Angolan entrepreneur takes hard line on Portuguese firm
ANGOLAN entrepreneur Isabel dos Santos would maintain her takeover offer of € 1.35 (R14.80) a share for Portugal Telecom (PT), considering it fair despite the stock’s 25 percent rise since her bid almost three weeks ago, a source said.
The source close to Dos Santos said the offer by her Terra Peregrin company – which values the whole PT holding company at € 1.21 billion – already incorporated a premium to shareholders.
The holding company has no operating assets but owns an almost 26 percent stake in Brazil’s Oi, which has incorporated PT’s operating assets after a merger that is still to be completed. It also holds
€ 900 million in debt issued by a bankrupt holding firm of Portugal’s Espirito Santo Group.
Dos Santos launched the bid for PT on November 9 in an attempt to thwart a separate
€ 7.025bn bid for PT’s operational assets by Altice, controlled by Franco-Israeli billionaire telecoms entrepreneur Patrick Drahi.
On November 12, private equity firms Bain Capital and Apax Partners joined the bidding battle to buy the operating assets from Oi, launching a bid worth € 7.075bn. Portuguese conglomerate Semapa joined the funds yesterday, expecting to take a 5 percent to 10 percent share in the investment.
Oi said it had not received any improved bids so far.
Several analysts have said that the price offered by Dos Santos is too low and the most likely scenario was that Oi would sell the Portuguese assets unimpeded.
The entry of a Portuguese partner will help address concerns in Portugal that one of its largest firms and employers will no longer be Portuguese.
Dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s President José Eduardo Dos Santos, said her bid was designed to preserve the company as a single Portuguese company. The bid represented a 17 percent premium over the three-week average market price of the shares before it was launched, but PT shares have risen more than 25 percent since the bid to trade at over € 1.5.
Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman, says she will not increase her takeover offer for Portugal Telecom.