Altice co-founder Pereira arrested in corruption probe

Altice boss Patrick Drahi’s close associate and group co-founder Armando Pereira has spent the weekend in custody after being detained by Portuguese police on suspicion of tax fraud, corruption and money-laundering. Another key Altice executive, Alexandre Fonseca, the company’s current co-CEO and chairman of Altice USA has meanwhile suspended himself today in a move believed to be related to the case.

Local media, including CNN Portugal, reported that 71-year-old Pereira was detained after his home and Altice’s Lisbon offices were raided by police last week as part of the Portuguese Departamento Central de Investigação e Ação Penal (DCIAP)’s Operation Picoas investigation.

Periera and two other individuals were detained in connection with alleged corrupt procurement practices that were harmful to Altice Group’s own companies and competitors, according to the DCIAP.

The police seized a number of documents and possessions, including luxury cars, with an estimated value of €20 million during a series of raids on homes and offices across Portugal, according to the reports.

In addition to Pereira, Álvaro Gil Loureiro, a director of companies linked to Pereira’s business partner Hernâni Vaz Antunes, and Antunes’ daughter Jéssica Antunes were reported to have been detained.

Fonseca has not been named as a suspect. However, the probe concerns the sale of buildings in Lisbon when he was CEO of Altice Portugal. Altice promoted Fonseca to co-CEO of Altice Group, alongside finance chief Malo Corbin and technology and development head David Drahi last year as part of a series of senior management changes.

Patrick Drahi took full control of Altice Europe in January 2021, delisting the company from the Amsterdam stock exchange. The group’s senior management line-up previously comprised Drahi as president and executive director, co-founder Pereira, who held the role of chief operating officer, and Corbin, chief financial officer.

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