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Altice Europe ‘planning sale of stake in Portuguese network’

Altice Europe is planning to sell a stake in its Portuguese high-speed fibre network following a similar sale in France, according to Reuters.

According to the news agency, citing unnamed sources, an auction process is expected to be launched within two weeks. Reuters reports that Altice Europe has hired investment bank Lazard to advise on potential bidders, which including US investment outfits KKR and Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners.

Morgan Stanley’s infrastructure unit acquired a 75% stake in Altice Portugal’s transmission towers business last year, and Reuters’ sources say it is a strong contender to partner with Altice.

Other potential bidders include Ardian, Macquarie Group and I Squared Capital.

Altice Europe recently agreed the sale of a 49.99% stake in its French fibre network business to a consortium comprising Allianz Capital Partners, AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets and OMERS Infrastructure last year in a deal that give the SFR FTTH business an enterprise value of €3.6 billion.

Altice had earlier announced that it was undertaking a strategic review of its fibre infrastructure, including “exploring financial partnerships”, with CFO Malo Corgin saying that the company was “extending this review to our fixed infrastructure in other countries in Europe”.

Separately, Altice France has claimed a success in its ongoing battle against piracy. The company said that it had secured the dismantling of an organisation that had commercialised hundreds of channels illegally. The group filed a complaint to the country’s Office Central de Lutte Contre la Criminalité liée aux Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (OCLCTIC), resulting in arrests and the closing down of the offending sites.