Shareholders in Portuguese holding company Portugal Telecom SGPS (PT SGPS) yesterday postponed the scheduled vote on the sale of PT Portugal SGPS (PT Portugal) by Brazilian telco Oi SA, Reuters reports. Stockholders are scheduled to meet again in Lisbon on 22 January ‘with the same agenda’, PT SGPS said in a regulatory filing.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in December 2014 Oi SA confirmed that its board of directors had approved plans to sell PT Portugal to Altice Portugal, a wholly owned subsidiary of Altice Group of Luxembourg for EUR7.4 billion (USD9.2 billion).
Oi has owned 100% of PT Portugal since May this year, while PT SGPS currently claims a 39.7% direct/indirect stake in Oi (source: PT SGPS website), and reportedly has the power to veto the deal with Altice.
Portugal’s securities market regulator Comissao do Mercado de Valores Mobiliarios (CMVM) lifted the suspension on trading in PT SGPS shares, in force since Friday 9 January, after the vote postponement. Trading in the shares, the value of which has fallen 17% so far this month, will resume today (Tuesday 13 January).
According to the Wall Street Journal, the CMVM acted after studying PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC’s) 31-page report on the failed investments made by Portugal Telecom Group in units of collapsed Portuguese financial conglomerate Esprito Santo. PwC noted that the Portuguese firm had failed to perform any risk analysis before purchasing hundreds of millions of euros worth of bonds issued by the Espirito Santo units. Between 2010 and 2014 the purchase of were never subject to approval or consideration by Portugal Telecom’s board of directors, executive committee or audit committee.