Nowo says it will close if regulator blocks Vodafone sale

 In Acquisitions, News, Telecoms

The withdrawal of Nowo from the Portuguese telecoms market is one of the scenarios on top of the table if the Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) does not allow the sale of the company to Vodafone.

In the case of closure, 140 jobs would be lost with a total of 500 direct and indirect jobs according to the CEO of Nowo, Miguel Venâncio. The regulator is expected to give its final decision within days.
It is the first time that a Nowo executive has issued a public statement about the operation. In an exclusive with ECO, its CEO gave no room for doubt: if the sale to Vodafone happens or not, MásMóvil will “divest” and will not be the “industrial partner of Nowo in Portugal”.
“Without a new investor, the end of Nowo in Portugal is a real possibility”, he said.
Miguel Venâncio has “faith” that the AdC will approve the deal with Vodafone, saying that there is a more than 50% probability of a sale going ahead.
Vodafone has already a second package of commitments to the regulator to try and convince them of the viability of the business after the first, which included concessions to competitor Digi, had been rejected.
“I see no reason whatsoever that the sale of Nowo to Vodafone should not be approved”, said Miguel Venâncio.
In 2022 Vodafone announced an agreement to buy Nowo from the Spanish company MásMóvil. But the sale depended on the approval of the AdC which, almost 18 months later, had not issued a report, but had opened a thorough investigation for having detected threats to competition in the market.
The AdC believes that Nowo, despite having a market share of less than 3%, exercises competition pressure on the other operators (MEO, NOS and Vodafone) through low prices, forcing them to lower their prices in regions where Nowo is present.
Miguel Venâncio does not agree with the AdC and says that Nowo is not an “important competitive force in the Portuguese market”.