PE firms Apax, Bain place EUR7.075bn joint bid for Portuguese PT assets

12 Nov 2014

Brazilian telco Oi SA has announced that it has received a EUR7.075 billion (USD8.795 billion) joint bid for its Portuguese telecoms assets – as held by the ‘PT Portugal Telecom SGPS’ (‘PT Portugal’) holding company – from private equity firms Apax Partners and Bain Capital. The enterprise value includes two separate EUR400 million deferred payments that depend on business performances of the assets.

The new bid, which excludes Oi’s Africatel Holdings business, effectively trumps Altice Group’s recent EUR7.025 billion bid for the same assets. A successful bid by Apax and Bain – or Altice – would unwind the troubled, long-running merger between Portugal Telecom (PT) and Oi, which was unveiled in October 2013, but has yet to be concluded.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the potential sale of PT’s Portuguese assets was complicated further this week, following a EUR1.2 billion offer for a different holding company, ‘Portugal Telecom SGPS’, from Terra Peregrin, a Portugal-based holding company controlled by Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Unlike the Altice offer, the dos Santos bid targeted a minority stake in the enlarged Oi-PT business. Furthermore, while Portugal Telecom SGPS does not have control over the Portuguese telecoms assets, it does have veto rights over a potential sale of them. In a statement to the stock market, however, Oi dismissed the Angolan-backed bid, saying: ‘Oi considers the tender offer unacceptable and confirms that it will not modify any corporate acts, definitive agreements or other instruments entered into in order to comply with the conditions stipulated in the tender offer.’