Altice Europe based in the Netherlands is selling parts of its Portuguese telecoms business to pay off some of its huge borrowings.
French assets also are being realised with a private equity company taking a 49% stake in the national mobile phone mast business.
The company’s phone mast business in Portugal also is being sold, to Morgan Stanley and a fund created by two former Portuguese ‘faces,’ Pires de Lima and Sérgio Monteiro through their Horizon Equity Partners.
Horizon is owned by the former Economy Minister, Pires de Lima and the former PSD-CDS Secretary of State for Public Works, Sérgio Monteiro.
Altice is the company which bought Portugal Telecom and MEO and owns an array of communications companies. The company is run by Patrick Drahi, the Moroccan-born Israeli billionaire, who owns 60% of the stock.
The sale of the French and Portuguese businesses will raise about €2.40 billion to reduce borrowings that were built up during a two-year spending spree that ended in 2016.
Drahi has listened to lenders and other shareholders to cut debt before interest rates rise and is selling anything that is easily saleable, including businesses in the US and Dominican Republic.
Altice posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter results last month, but has done itself no favours in Portugal where the company was fined €124.5 million by the EU which accused Drahi of breaking mergers and acquisitions rules by pressing ahead with the purchase of PT Portugal in January 2015, before being given clearance to proceed.
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