The agreement, which comes after the pair admitted they were in ‘exploratory discussions’ last month, will give Altice, which owns the leading Portuguese telco, PT Telecom/Meo, control of leading commercial channel TVI, news channel TVI24 and hematic channels TVI Ficción and TVI Reality as well as international services TVI Internacional and TVI África.
Media Capital also owns internet portal IOL and a number of radio stations and press titles.
Altice, which is acquiring Prisa’s 94.7% stake in the company, will now combine ownership of content assets with distribution networks in Portugal on the model followed in France with SFR.
The cable and telecom group has said it will continue to maintain Media Capital’s “open platform” in the Portuguese market. It said it would also invest in digital expansion, develop new TV channels and formats and launch new innovative services.
Altice said it would accelerate investment in Portuguese content and export that content to other Altice territories, including France and the US. It said it would use Media Capital’s production arm Plural Entertainment as its global content production hub.
The group also said it enhance the reach of channels including TVI24.
Altice said that the acquisition underscored its commitment to Portugal, which already provides the group’s global technology hub in the shape of Altice Labs.
In accordance with Portuguese securities law, Altice has launched a mandatory takeover offer for the remaining 5.3% of Media Capital which is not owned by Prisa. Altice said it intends to delist Media Capital from Euronext Lisbon once this is completed.
Michel Combes, CEO of Altice, said: “We are extremely excited about the acquisition of Media Capital. It is a unique opportunity to invest more capital in a market which has been our home for many years. We want to capture the many growth opportunities Media Capital offers not just in Portugal but also internationally based on an ambitious agenda focused on more digital, more content and more innovation. This strategy will bring benefits to all Portuguese media consumers while strengthening the Portuguese media landscape in the context of an increasingly global competition.”
The acquisition is likely to generate controversy in Portugal. The country’s prime minister António Costa publicly criticised Altice over its management of PT Telecom earlier this week during a state of the nation debate, while rival service provider NOS’s chief executive Miguel Almeida has previously vowed to fight any deal that gives Altice control of Media Capital.
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