Shareholders in Portugal Telecom SGPS delayed a vote on Altice’s bid for Portuguese telecoms assets owned by Oi, in which PT SGPS is the largest shareholder, following a request by the market regulator for shareholders to be provided with more information about the deal.
Leading shareholders yesterday (12 January) agreed to postpone a vote on the Altice proposal until 22 January.
Portuguese market regulator CMVM last week requested additional information about the deal from Portugal Telecom SGPS for its shareholders.
Oi said it had provided all the requested information and now “strongly believes” that all shareholders have “more than enough” information to make a fully informed decision about the deal.
The Brazilian firm added it “cannot envisage any reason for any further request of information to that end”.
According to Il Sole 24 Ore, the postponement could strengthen the position of Telecom Italia as it jockeys for position with Oi in the ongoing consolidation of Brazil’s mobile market. Selling the Portuguese assets would free Oi to focus on its domestic market.
The 10-day suspension was backed by 90 per cent of the votes of shareholders either present or represented at yesterday’s meeting. The briefer suspension was chosen ahead of a rival proposal for a 21-day gap until the next meeting.
Leading shareholders who supported the suspension included TMT investment firm Ongoing, Novo Banco and Controlinveste
However, shareholder Telemar Norte Leste —a wholly owned subsidiary of Oi — was not authorised to vote. Telemar unsuccessfully contested the decision to block its vote.
In a statement Oi pointed out its subsidiary had actually been one of the shareholders that presented and supported a suspension of the vote, and argued it had acted in the best interest of both its parent and PT SGPS.