France Telecom-Orange (FT-Orange) has reiterated its intention to sell its 20% stake in Portuguese communication company Sonaecom, which controls full-service telecoms provider Optimus, Jornal de Negocios reports. In a written statement issued to the business daily, the French telecoms giant explained: ‘We continue with our plan to sell our minority stake in Sonaecom at the appropriate time’. However, FT-Orange refused to be drawn on the ongoing plans to merge Optimus with Portuguese cableco Zon Multimedia. The latter is controlled by Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, who currently holds the two largest equity stakes in Zon through a pair of holding companies: Jadeium (18.80%) and Kento Holding (10.00%). ‘As a minority shareholder, we do not comment on Sonaecom’s strategy,’ FT-Orange added.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, FT-Orange first indicated its willingness to offload its stake in Sonaecom in July 2011 as part of an ‘ongoing portfolio review’ designed to maximise profitability by pulling out of countries where it was not one of the top two operators or did not hold a controlling stake.