According to Portuguese media reports, France’s Altice Group has lined up a deal for Lisbon-based Onitelecom worth around EUR100 million (USD128.5 million). An Oni company spokesperson told Economico: ‘We have received several expressions of interest in the company’, declining to provide any further details regarding potential bidders. However, it has been suggested that a possible stumbling block is the disparity of influence between Oni’s two largest shareholders, the Riverside Company (60.9%) and Gestmin SGPS (34.6%), with the former’s interest primarily equity, while the latter is saddled with the bulk of the company’s debt. If the deal comes to fruition, it would represent Altice’s second Portuguese acquisition in recent memory; in February 2012 the company paid Canada’s Cogeco Cable EUR45 million for Cabovisao.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Altice is a telecoms investment group founded by Frenchman Patrick Drahi, which specialises in the acquisition of cablecos. It currently holds telecoms interests in France, Belgium and Luxembourg (Numericable), Portugal (Cabovisao) Israel (HOT Telecommunications Systems), Switzerland and the Caribbean.