Expatica news

C&W, Portugal Telecom sell Macau stakes for $1.16 bn

China’s Citic Telecom will take control of a Macau telecoms firm after agreeing to pay $1.16 billion for the combined 79 percent stake held by Britain-based Cable and Wireless and Portugal Telecom.

Citic Telecom, the telecom unit of Chinese state-owned conglomerate Citic Group, announced Sunday it had agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in the Macau company from Cable and Wireless for $749.7 million and a 28 percent stake from Portugal Telecom for $411.6 million, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

After the deal, Citic Telecom will hold 99 percent of Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau, up from its current 20 percent holding, with Macau Post holding the remaining one percent.

Citic Telecom will fund the deal through its own cash and bank loan facilities. The transaction is subject to the approval of Citic Telecom’s shareholders and the Macau and China governments.

The deal is the latest sign of cash-rich Chinese companies looking to expand overseas by bargain-hunting in places such as the United States and Europe, where slowing growth and debt troubles have forced firms to unload assets.

A gambling and tourism boom in Macau, the world’s gaming capital by revenue, helped Companhia de Telecomunicacoes de Macau post a 15 percent increase in profit to $117 million in 2011.

— Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this report —