A number of private equity and investment firms have expressed an interest in Altice Europe’s Portuguese fibre networks, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Potential bidders for the assets – which are currently controlled by Altice subsidiary PT Portugal (MEO) – are said to include Brookfield Asset Management, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, KKR and Macquarie Group. Also circling the assets are Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure investment arm, Blackstone Group and Spanish infrastructure company Cellnex Telecom.
According to the news agency, debt-wracked Altice values the fibre assets at EUR5 billion (USD5.7 billion), while the interested parties are unlikely to want to pay more than EUR4 billion for the networks. Further, Altice may opt to retain a majority stake in a fibre business, as it did in France (see below).
In November 2018 Altice agreed to sell a 49.99% stake in French fibre-optic business SFR FTTH to the investment funds Allianz Capital Partners, AXA Investment Managers-Real Assets and OMERS Infrastructure for EUR1.8 billion.
In a previous Portugal-centric debt-cutting measure, June 2018 saw Altice sell a 75% stake in a newly-formed Portuguese towers business, called Towers of Portugal (TOP), to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Horizon Equity Partners.