An­golan en­tre­pre­neur takes hard line on Por­tuguese firm

The Star Early Edition - - FOCUS ON AFRICA - Reuters

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.

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