PT jumps back into Brazil with €3.6b investment

Portugal Telecom has jumped back into the Brazilian market with a deal to acquire 22% of the country’s largest carrier for 8.32 billion reais (€3.6 billion).
 
The firm has agreed to take a 22.38% stake in Brazilian cellco Oi and a 12.1% holding in parent Telemar, and expects the deal to be completed by end-March, WSJ.com reports.
 
In return, Oi will purchase a 10% stake in Portugal Telecom, replacing Telefonica as the largest investor in the Portuguese incumbent, FT.com noted.
 
Portugal Telecom chief Zeinal Bava said the deal highlights the importance of the Brazilian market to Portugal Telecom.
 
Brazil is seen as a key country for the incumbent, which faces subscriber saturation in its domestic market. The importance was highlighted in PT’s protracted battle for control of Brasilcel with Telefonica in 2010 – a fight that eventually cost the Spanish operator €7.5 billion to win.
 
Bava is also targeting more business in Africa, FT.com said.
 
The European Commission this week opened a probe into anti-competition agreements Portugal Telecom signed with Telefonica as part of the Brasilcel deal.

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