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Altice planning to sell Cabovisão

Cable and telecom network investor Altice is planning to sell its existing Portuguese cable asset, Cabovisão, clearing the way for the acquisition of Portugal Telecom’s domestic network.

Armando Pereira, one of Altice’s founders and a leading Portuguese technology and telecoms entrepreneur, confirmed to Portuguese journalists in Paris on Tuesday that the company was planning to sell the cable operator, which it acquired from Canada’s Cogeco in 2012 for €45 million. Pereira said meetings had been held with potential buyers, but without giving further details.

A green light from the Portuguese competition regulator for the acquisition of Portugal Telecom is expected to be conditional on the sale of Cabovisão.

Pereira confirmed that Altice will invest €150 million a year for the next three years to equip Portugal with an up-to-date fibre network, and said that the company will create 200 jobs at a new call centre to open in May, with the expectation that it will create up to 4,000 jobs in the country in the medium term.

Vodafone and Portuguese cable leader NOS are seen as the mostly likely buyers for Cabovisão, with an acquisition by Vodafone likely to present fewer regulatory hurdles.

In addition to Cabovisão, Altice owns business-to-business telecom service provider Oni in Portugal.