Isabel dos Santos shares seized from NOS worth €422 million

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A Lisbon court has ordered the preventive confiscation of 26% of the shares in the Portuguese telecommunications company NOS held by Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the Angolan ex-president José Eduardo dos Santos.

All told, the shares are worth €422 million taking into account the company’s share capital value on 6 April at €1.621Bn, and represent 26.07% of NOS shares. The seizure was ordered by the Central Criminal Court in March.
The company ZOPT, which holds 52% of NOS, was told of the decision taken by Judge Carlos Alexandre on Saturday 4 April.
Isabel dos Santos and Sonaecom SGPS (from Group Sonae) each control a half of ZOPT. The frozen NOS shares will not result in dividends for shareholders who will not be able to vote on company decisions.
Sonaecom says that the court’s ruling will seriously affect its interests, despite the fact that the company does not have any relationship with the current legal case involving Isabel dos Santos.
The companies owned by Isabel dos Santos which, together with Sonaecom, control the majority capital in NOS (52%), consider that the seizure of its shares is “abusive and excessive”.
According to the business daily Jornal Económico, the companies Kento and UHI (owned by Isabel dos Santos) state they were aware of the seizure of their shares in ZOPT which is a company 50% held by Angolan companies Kento and UIH (it is this percentage that is affected by the seizure) while the other 50% is held by Sonae which is the controlling shareholder in NOS. The Isabel dos Santos group states that it “cannot accept the decision”.
Judge Carlos Alexandre decided to freeze half of the 52% that ZOPT has in NOS, which corresponds to 26% of the capital in the telecoms company which in theory corresponds to the indirect position held by Isabel dos Santos.
It is these seized shares that no longer exercise voting rights in the company and receive dividends for the shareholders, these shares being held by Caixa Geral de Depósitos by order of the court, states Sonaecom in a in a communiqué.
On the other hand, ZOPT continues to receive dividends, 50% via the Angolan companies Kento and UHI since the seizure order does not involve the shares held by these companies owned by dos Santos.
Sonaecom also states the “deprivation” of its voting rights which the court considers “inherent” to the seizure of half of ZOPT’s position in NOS to be “null and void”.
NOS too, headed by Miguel Almeida has already announced that it will contest the court decision which it considers “Null and Void”.