Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica has confirmed that it has reduced its shareholding in Portuguese cableco Zon Multimedia by around 0.5%, taking its shareholding below the 5% threshold. Following the divestment Telefonica’s total shareholding in Zon stands at 4.9997%, down from 5.46%.
In November 2011 the Spanish telco indicated that it was looking to divest non-core or underperforming assets in order to reduce debt. Although comparatively minor, the move could spark a mass shareholder exodus at Zon; in 2011 banks Caixa Geral de Depositos and Banco Espirito Santo were reportedly being pressed to sell assets to raise capital ratios under Portugal’s bailout programme.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Kento Holding, which is controlled by Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s president, is the most likely buyer of additional Zon shares; numerous Angolan companies and investors took steps to increase their stakes in prominent Portuguese companies after the cash-strapped nation became the third euro-zone country to request a bailout from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2011.