Two former ministers in bid to purchase PT transmission towers portfolio

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Two former Portuguese ministers are interested in buying the former Portugal Telecom Lisbon transmission towers.


According to the weekly newspaper Expresso, António Pires de Lima and Sérgio Monteiro are bidding to buy the transmission towers which Altice Portugal – the current owners of the telecommunications company – put up for sale this year.

The former minister of the Economy and the ex-secretary of state for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication have joined forces with a consortium led by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure.

According to Expresso, the two former government ministers have set up an infrastructure investment fund and are raising capital to finance the purchase.

The sell-off of the towers is party in response to a 5.2% fall in receipts following the take-over of  MEO by the Dutch telecommunications company. In the last quarter of 2017 MEO had a €536 million turnover, down 1.8% on the same period in 2016.

Under pressure to reduce its debts, Altice confirmed that it would sell its 3,000 telecommunications towers in Lisbon and France. The entire lot of transmission towers is estimated to be worth €3Bn and €4Bn respectively. The towers which the two ex-ministers intend to buy are said to be worth €500 million.

Altice owns around 3,000 macro towers in Portugal, the largest in the country, which it considers non-strategic assets for sale.  The Portuguese tower market has been fairly dormant since rumours of a prospective sale and leaseback by Portugal Telecom three years ago, which resulted in the sale of Portugal Telecom by Brazilian Oi to Altice for €7.4Bn in Q2 of 2015.