Illiad and Saudi Telecom in race for Altice Portugal

 In Altice Portugal, News, Telecoms

The second phase of the Altice Portugal wholesale or partial selloff is about to begin with two of the candidates Illiad and Saudi Telecom sending due diligence teams to Portugal over the next few weeks.

However, the fund Warburg Pincus with Portuguese banker António Horta-Osório is likely to withdraw because it is only interested in buying 100% of the company, which Altice International is against since Altice Portugal represents around 50% of its total international revenues. The Portuguese State too is not keen on seeing a 100% buyout of the telecoms giant, formerly called Portugal Telecom, and its key brand MEO.
The second phase of the sale process of Altice Portugal will begin this month with legal and financial consultants from both front-running candidates contracted to support due diligence.
One way or the other, the decision by Altice International Chairman Patrick Drahi to sell off parts of Altice Portugal because he has to find funds to plug a €60Bn black hole in the company’s finances, will change the status quo and structure of the telecoms sector in Portugal and on the Iberian peninsula as a whole.
At the start of 2023 there were a number of funds that potentially showed an interest in buying Altice Portugal including Apollo, Apax, CVC Capital Partners and Warburg Pincus.
But now the two front runners, both players in the telecoms sector, are Saudi Telecom, the Sate operator of Saudi Arabia – which holds 9.9% of Spain’s Telefónica – and the Iliad Group from the French multi-millionaire Xavier Niel, who also happens to be the son-in-law of Bernard Arnault, the owner of the Louis Vuitton with one of the largest fortunes in the world.