A Lisbon court has seized a 26% stake in Portuguese mobile, fixed line, broadband and cable TV operator Nos owned by Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, who is the subject of a fraud investigation in her home country, Reuters reports. Portuguese company Sonaecom – which owns the other half of holding company ZOPT, the controlling shareholder of Nos with a 52% stake – confirmed that the seizure means ZOPT as a whole will be deprived of voting rights, a decision Sonaecom argued ‘seriously harms the interests of ZOPT and Sonaecom, both being third parties completely unrelated to the judicial process underway’. Sonaecom stated that it will take ‘all appropriate legal action to revert and terminate the seizure procedure’ as ZOPT ‘is not liable for the debts of its shareholders’, although adding that it would cooperate with judicial authorities.
Dos Santos – daughter of former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos – has vowed to fight a ‘politically motivated’ Angolan court order issued on 23 December to seize an estimated USD1 billion of assets including a 25% indirect stake in Angola’s leading mobile operator Unitel. In February, Portugal’s public prosecutor ordered the seizure of bank accounts belonging to Ms dos Santos, who owns shares in several other Portuguese companies including oil group Galp.