Portuguese Competition Authority approves MASMOVIL takeover of Nowo, ONI

18 Oct 2019

The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrencia, AdC) has approved a request by Spanish alternative telecoms operator Grupo MASMOVIL to acquire Cabonitel, the holding company which controls Portuguese operators Nowo and Onitelecom (ONI). MASMOVIL’s application received the green light from the watchdog on 15 October, just two months after the deal was submitted to the regulator – in August this year.

The deal is being carried out by MASMOVIL IBERCOM and GAEA INVERSION (a company specifically incorporated for the realisation of the transaction). Cabonitel owns 100% of the share capital of Nowo, which in turn holds the entire share capital of ONI. These companies are owned by Cabolink, a Luxembourgish company owned by funds managed by US private equity firm KKR.

TeleGeography notes that KKR is understood to have acquired the business in 4Q18 after converting the debt it was owed into a controlling stake and had no long-term ambitions within the Portuguese telecoms sector. Previously, back in September 2015 Altice agreed to sell Cabovisao (now Nowo) and ONI to Apax France for EUR140.6 million (USD161.6 million). The deal, which was part of the EC mandate relating to Altice’s takeover of PT Portugal (MEO), closed in January 2016.