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Morgan Stanley and PLMJ are advising STC in the race for Altice Portugal

Morgan Stanley and PLMJ are advising STC in the race for Altice Portugal

Saudi Telecom Company is considered the most committed candidate to buy Altice Portugal, which owns MEO, and its advisory services include Morgan Stanley (financial consulting) and the law firm PLMJ, and more specifically lawyer Diogo Perestrelo, according to the economic magazine.

Saudi Telecom Company is considered the most committed candidate to buy Altice Portugal, which owns MEO, and its advisory services include Morgan Stanley (financial consulting) and the law firm PLMJ, and more specifically lawyer Diogo Perestrelo, according to the economic magazine. When contacted, there was no comment.

Morgan Stanley Bank is located in it Side buy The operation is also the owner of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, which in 2019 bought 49.99% of the fiber network from Altice Portugal and which has a preferential right over the rest if Altice sells the fiber separately.

According to the statement issued at the time, Altice Portugal FTTH, a company created with the signing of that agreement, sells services to telecom operators in Portugal “with the same financial conditions.” In return, MEO sells technical services to Altice Portugal FTTH to build, connect and maintain the fiber network.

The founder, Patrick Drahi, had already announced the sale of the assets of the Altice Group at the end of last year, as a basic measure to reduce the debt amounting to 55 billion, and 24 billion related to the operation in France, according to the figures of the third group. quarter of last year.

In September, Altice founder and majority shareholder Patrick Drahi went ahead with the sale of some companies in his empire to reduce the group's high debt, which exceeds €55 billion. This is an operation that the group internally called “Project Recital,” as revealed by the Eco newspaper last December.

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According to the news, which reflects brand data, Altice says MEO has a 45% market share in mobile, 39% in internet, and 40% in pay TV. Altice highlights that the company has shown consistent growth in its new subscriber base. On the other hand, Geodesia and Altice Labs have been identified as additional growth vehicles with strong potential for international sales.

French bank Lazard and BNP Paribas have been advising on the sale since then.

As Jornal Economico reported, the consortium of Warburg Pincus and Zeno Partners, which has the backing of Portuguese banker Antonio Horta Osorio, is definitely out of the running to buy Altice Portugal.

Saudi Telecom has made the highest bid to buy the Portuguese company Altice, Bloomberg revealed, and is already accelerating preparations to buy the Portuguese telecom operator. The Arab group finds the operator, which owns MEO and the assets of the former Portugal Telecom, particularly attractive due to the potential to “explore or enhance” synergies in the Iberian Peninsula, specifically with Telefónica, where the Saudis have a qualifying stake.

Once STC gains an advantage over other rivals, there are already moves by Portuguese managers wanting to ally with the Saudis in buying Altice Portugal, according to sources familiar with the process. Especially since, according to our sources, STC may need Portuguese “ambassadors” to see the process pass the new government’s scrutiny.

The government has the possibility to intervene under Decree Law No. 138/14 of September 15, which establishes a system to protect strategic assets necessary to ensure public security.

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In addition to STC, which already owns a 9.9% stake in Telefónica, the operator Iliad, founded by French billionaire Xavier Niel, is vying to buy out the owner of MEO.

The consortium made up of the Warburg Pincus fund and Zeno Partners, which was backed by Portuguese banker António Horta Osorio and which has put itself in the running to buy Altice Portugal, has been disqualified with a project aimed at acquiring the operation with the full name and restoring the Portugal Telecom brand. Which means buying the operator, the Covilhä data center, and Altice's 51% stake in Fastfiber and Altice Labs.

Meanwhile, the Altice Group last week announced an agreement to sell Altice Media in France for 1.55 billion euros to the CMA CGM group owned by the Saadeh family, owner of media outlets such as Le Tribune and Merit France. According to Global News, the deal covers the entire capital of the media group, which includes media outlets such as BFM and RMC, which employs 1,700 employees, including 900 journalists.

To confirm the exclusivity agreement announced last Friday, regulatory approval and verification of the terms of the agreement will still be necessary, but Altice expected the deal to be concluded in the summer.

On the other hand, in the US, Charter Communications is considering buying Altice United States. The information was provided by Bloomberg, which cites sources familiar with the operation. Altice USA, whose business was separated from the rest of the group in 2018, is one of the largest broadband operators on the North American continent, reaching about 5 million private and business customers in 21 states.

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Selling the operation in Portugal could be the next step in Altice's debt reduction strategy.