Altice reportedly looking at sale of Portuguese operation

AlticeTroubled multinational telecom giant Altice is looking at a potential sale of its scandal-hit Portuguese operation as tries to reduce its debit pile, according to a report by French financial daily Les Echos.

Altice’s Portuguese operation, which trades under the Meo brand, offers fixed and mobile telephony, internet access and pay TV, and owns fibre network FastFiber.

According to industry insiders cited by Les Echos, Meo/Portugal Telecom is seen as the most straightforward of Altice’s assets to dispose of as the group seeks to address concerns about its debt.

The paper reports that Altice has selected Lazard to look into different options for the operator, including a 100% sale or the sale of minority stakes.

Patrick Drahi and Altice, which attempted to dispose of Meo previously in 2021, is looking to raise €10 billion from a potential sale, according to the report.

Meo is the Portuguese market leader, with a 48% share of the mobile market and a 41% share of fixed, in a market where over 90%of the population are reached by fibre.

Iliad Telecom and its proprietor  Xavier Niel have been identified as possible acquirers for the group, with the company on record as saying it is looking for acquisition opportunities. Iliad is currently a force in three big European markets: France, the UK and Poland.

Orange has been named as another potential candidate, with all eyes currently on the EC’s decision about the planned merger of Másmovíl with Orange in Spain.

Portuguese police are currently probing the activities of former Altice exec Armando Pereira and others in relation to alleged corrupt practices at Meo – a scandal that rocked the wider Altice business.

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