FT may figure in PT bid

29 Aug 2006

France Télécom (FT) has been named as a potential investor which could be brought in to beef up Sonaecom’s EUR11.1 billion takeover offer for Portugal Telecom (PT). Dow Jones reports that the French telco may be involved along with the Societe Generale banking group in helping to put together an improved bid. Sonaecom has offered EUR9.50 per PT share, but with the Portugese group’s shares now trading at around EUR9.90 a new offer is expected. FT currently holds a 23.7% stake in Sonaecom, although this is being reduced to 19.2% as part of a capital reorganisation.

Meanwhile, Sonaecom’s bid is facing fresh opposition, with Grupo Espirito Santo leading a group of investors intent on forming a blocking minority, according to a report from AFX. Espirito Santo is currently PT’s third largest shareholder with a 8.36% stake. The report also says that Telmex of Mexico is looking to increase its own interest in PT from its current level of 3.4% to around 10%. Telmex has confirmed that it has no interest in taking control of PT.

Portugal, Optimus (Clix)