Drahi reportedly in exclusive talks to buy Portugal Telecom

Portugal TelecomFrench cable and telecom investor Patrick Drahi has reportedly entered into exclusive talks to buy Portugal Telecom’s domestic assets after tabling at €7.4 billion bid.

According to French financial daily Les Echos, Drahi’s Altice investment vehicle has entered into exclusive talks with Brazil’s Oi to buy the Portuguese telco. The paper said that Altice had upped its original bid of just over €7 billion at the end of last week after Oi received a rival bid from private equity groups Apax Partners and Bain.

The Altice bid is reportedly backed by five banks – Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and  Deutsche Bank. Altice’s bid has also been viewed favourably because it is seen as a long-term investor that already owns Portuguese telecom assets in the form of cable operator Cabovisão and business-to-business telco Oni, according to Les Echos.

Drahi’s latest move comes after a week that saw the completion of cable operator Numericable’s acquisition of SFR and approval of its acquisition of Virgin Mobile France by the country’s competition authority.