Portugal Telecom (PT) has reacted swiftly to reject press speculation that it is looking to take control of or make an offer for the rest of Brazilian carrier Oi SA. In a statement, PT said that alongside Oi SA’s other shareholders, the firms ‘regularly review proposals which may enhance operational performance and governance to extract additional synergies especially in the areas of engineering, network, technology, innovation and services’. The Portuguese firm’s statement follows a recent report in local newspaper Sol, which claimed a possible merger of PT and the Brazilian operator was being considered by the management boards of both companies. PT chief executive Zeinal Bava was attributed as having said that his firm was ‘the best positioned candidate’ to head up the project.
Elsewhere, the Brazilian weekly magazine Veja had also claimed that PT was looking to up its stake in Oi SA, and was considering purchasing the stakes owned by Carlos Jereissati and Sergio Andrade in the Brazilian operator in a deal tentatively valued at around BRL2 billion (USD985 million). According to Veja, the deal was being put together by Brazilian investment bank Banco BTG Pactual SA.
Other shareholders in Oi SA’s controlling group include the investment arm of Brazil’s national development bank, BNDES, as well as pension funds including Fundacao Atlantico de Seguridade Social, Caixa de Previdencia dos Funcionarios do Banco do Brasil (known as Previ), Fundacao dos Economiarios Federais (known as Funcef), and Fundacao Petrobras de Seguridade Social (or Petros).