PT wants Sonaecom to place deposit

5 Jan 2007

Sonaecom’s takeover battle for Portugal Telecom (PT) rumbles on, with PT now calling for its suitor to present a EUR19 billion deposit or bank guarantee, AFX reports citing local newspaper Jornal de Negocios. PT is expected to call for stock market regulator CMVM to demand the guarantee as part of its response to Sonaecom’s EUR9.50 per share bid. Part of the deposit covers PT’s stake in Brazilian mobile operator Vivo, even though Sonaecom has said it is not interested in acquiring PT’s share of the cellco. Portugal Telecom says its rival’s hostile takeover offer is too low.

Meanwhile, Portugal’s telecoms minister Mario Lino has denied speculation that the government has forged an agreement with Sonaecom concerning the state’s so-called ‘golden share’ in PT. Diario Economico cites an unnamed source at the ministry who says: ‘The Portuguese state will not negotiate, give up or auto-limit its rights regarding Portugal Telecom’s golden share,’ AFX reports. The government holds 500 Class-A shares in PT which give it the right to veto certain strategic decisions. Sonaecom has reportedly offered the government first refusal on PT shares for the next ten years, while in return it wants the state to give up some of its special voting rights.

Portugal, Optimus (Clix)