Altice Portugal will pursue its aim of owning media outlets in Portugal says CEO

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The CEO of Altice Portugal, Alexandre Fonseca said it was a “question of time” before Portugal’s largest telecommunications company can implement one of its three international strategy programmes — media content.

Addressing business leaders at a lunch organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Portugal (AmCham) on Monday he said that Altice had decided to drop its bid to buy Media Capital – a private Portuguese television station and radios — because it had been waiting 11 months for a report from the competition regulator.

The address comes one year after the Dutch multinational put in a bid to buy Media Capital which was rejected by the Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC).

“We could have invested €450 million of foreign capital in Portugal” said the Portuguese CEO of the company which owns MEO.

He said that the Portuguese regulator, run by Margarida Matos Rosa, had “rejected a good deal for the economy, even from the point of view of some figures in the current Portuguese government”.

“The AdC impeded our strategy of having three business strands in Portugal” (telecoms, publicity and content) but Fonseca stressed it was “still early days” indicating that the company was not about to quit its international strategy to have operations in all three sectors.   

Fonseca spoke of the importance of technological partnerships which are so important “for the technological development of Portugal” and cited shared projects with the Portuguese arm of US multinational Cisco as an example.

Another important partnership was with Web Summit which is “a huge project for our country which is getting us known worldwide” and one in which Altice Portugal with the support of Cisco are “technology partners.”

“A part of the success of Web Summit in Portugal over the past three years, recognised by the Portuguese Government and Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit, was our technological partnership and the quality of the networks which were implemented and which was a showcase at a world level of what can be done in the areas of connectivity and Wifi networks,” he said. 

Altice Portugal is part of Altice Europe (ATC & ATCB) which is listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Portugal’s PSI20. The company is a convergent leader in telecoms, content, media, entertainment and advertising.

It has over 30 million customers in Europe over fibre networks and mobile broadband as well as providing digital solutions to millions of business customers. 

In September it announced that it had successfully sold 75% in the newly formed tower company “Towers of Portugal” which comprises 2,961 sites formerly owned by its subsidiary MEO – Serviços de Comunicações e Multimedia, S.A. to a consortium including Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and Horizon Equity Partners.

The company’s total international operating revenue was €2.54Bn in 2017, its operating income was €2.84Bn, its net income was €179.3 million while its total equity for that year was €30 million.

As of 2016, Altice had over 50 million internet, TV, and phone customers in Western Europe, the US, Israel and the Caribbean (Dominican Republic).