Vodafone Portugal to acquire rival Nowo

Vodafone Portugal is to acquire smaller cable rival Nowo.

Vodafone’s Portuguese unit has entered into an agreement with Llorca JVCO Ltd, a shareholder of MásMóvil Ibercom to acquire Cabonitel, the holding company of Nowo.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first half of next year.

Nowo is the fourth largest convergent operator in Portugal, with around 250,000 mobile service subscribers and 140,000 fixed access customers spanning pay TV and broadband. The company’s network passes approximately one million homes.

Vodafone said the acquisition would reinforce its competitiveness in the market, providing it with greater scale and greater coverage, with benefits for current and future customers, as well as for the sector as a whole.

Vodafone said the move would also create the conditions for more efficient investment in high-speed connectivity networks, as well as in the development of innovative products and services.

“The acquisition of Nowo will allow Vodafone to increase its customer base, as well as its fixed network coverage. The future modernization of the network acquired for the new generation of optical fibre will benefit current and future users, by guaranteeing the quality and increased resilience of this infrastructure,” said Vodafone Portugal CEO Mário Vaz.

“With 30 years of commercial activity in the Portuguese market, this operation is yet another demonstration of Vodafone’s and its shareholders’ commitment to the country, and of the commitment to the development of an increasingly digital society and business fabric in Portugal.”

While the combined entity will leapfrog NOS to become the number two in mobile broadband, Vodafone-Nowo will remain number three in pay TV, with a 21.7% share against NOS’s 37.4%, according to figures from regulator Anacom. It will also remain the number three player in fixed broadband.

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