Telefonica announces sale of Portugal Telecom stake
Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica said Wednesday it had reduced its stake in Portugal Telecom to 2.02 percent from 10 percent.
The announcement comes ahead of a June 30 vote by Portugal Telecom shareholders on Telefonica's 6.5-billion-euro (8.0-billion-dollar) offer for the Portuguese company's stake in Brasilcel, their Brazilian wireless joint venture.
Portugal Telecom, which opposes the sale, has suggested that Telefonica should not be allowed to vote since its stake represents a conflict of interest.
Telefonica may have sold its stake in Portugal Telecom to shareholders who are in favour of the sale of the Vivo stake, Spanish daily El Pais reported in its online addition.
Portugal Telecom relies on Brazil for growth. Last month Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates described the company's stake in Brasilcel as "strategic."
Brasilcel is held equally by Portugal Telecom and Telefonica. It owns 60 percent of Vivo, Brazil's biggest wireless operator.
© 2010 AFP