Dos Santos boosts Zon stake further, Altice linked with move for cableco

8 Jun 2012

Isabel dos Santos, the Angolan businesswoman widely regarded as the country’s richest woman, has increased her stake in Portuguese cableco Zon Multimedia by acquiring the 2.82% holding of Portuguese group Cinveste. Portuguese financial daily Jornal de Negocios reports that the deal was carried out at a similar price to the EUR2.34 (USD2.94) per share deal that dos Santos struck for the 5.46% stake acquired from Spanish mobile giant Telefonica last month. This latest acquisition means that dos Santos, the daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, has increased her overall holding in Zon to 18.28%. In addition, it is believed that dos Santos has made a concrete approach to buy the 10.88% stake in Zon currently held by financial institution Caixa Geral de Depositos (CGD), the sale of which is due to be decided within a matter of weeks. The business daily notes that dos Santos’ strategic targets for Zon include increasing the company’s internationalisation, an aim that is shared by the company’s other significant shareholders, including Portuguese bank BPI, in which she also holds a 19.43% interest. In January 2012 Zon shareholders voted their approval of a plan to lift voting rights beyond the existing 10% limit, paving the way for existing shareholders such as dos Santos to raise their stakes in the company.

In other news, Jornal de Negocios also reports that French investment fund Altice has tabled a rival bid for the aforementioned stake held by CGD. The surprising development comes in the wake of Altice’s March 2012 purchase of rival cable operator Cabovisao, from Canada’s Cogeco Cable, for EUR45 million.

Portugal, Altice Europe (formerly Altice Group), Nos