Portugal Telecom Under Pressure to Sell Angolan Subsidiary
Published on: 24th Apr 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
The daughter of Angola's President is seeking to buy out Portugal Telecom's stake in a local mobile network operator.
Portugal Telecom owns 25% of the Angolan mobile network, Unitel, and the other shareholders, including Africa's richest woman, Isabel dos Santos are seeking to force Portugal Telecom to sell its stake to them.
They argue that they have right of first refusal to buy the stake if there is a change in ownership, and that Portugal Telecom's merger with Brazil's Oi triggers that clause.
The shareholders were reported by local media to have sent a letter to Portugal Telecom triggering their buyout of the 25% stake, which has been valued at around EUR930 million.
Last year, Portugal Telecom's debt rating was downgraded, in part due to the difficulty it is having in repatriating its dividends from Unitel. A sale of its stake could trigger a resolution of that issue.
It's estimated that around EUR245 million is owed in unpaid dividends to Portugal Telecom.
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