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Orange sells stake in Portugal’s Optimus
18 February 2013
Portugese group Sonae to buy France Telecom-Orange’s 20% stake in Sonaecom for €99m
France Telecom-Orange is selling all of its 20% stake in
Portuguese operator Sonaecom to parent company Sonae for just
under €99 million. The price may be increased to €113
million under certain circumstances. Sonaecom runs mobile
services under the Optimus brand and is believed to have about
3.6 million customers.
The deal is being undertaken because Orange has exercised a put
and call option agreement with Sonae which allows it to force
Sonae — a retail, shopping, leisure and property group
— to buy its stake at an agreed price.
France Telecom said that its move follows its objective of
disposing of its minority shareholding in Sonaecom "under terms
that allow the group to benefit from the potential
consolidation of the Portuguese telecommunications
market". In the past 18 months France Telecom has sold its
interests in Switzerland and Austria.
The price for the business will be higher "if Sonaecom
participates in a material transaction (involving Sonaecom or
its material assets) that consolidates or restructures the
Portuguese telecommunications sector in the 24 months following
the signature of the agreement", said the French operator.
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