Takeover bid lifts Portugal Telecom shares

Portugal Telecom shares soared over 30% to a record high after Portuguese conglomerate Sonae launched a surprise 10.7-billion-euro takeover bid for the firm, an AFP report said.

The report quoted Sonae, led by Portugal's richest man Belmiro de Azevedo, as saying that it would pay 9.50 euros a share for the former state monopoly in what was the biggest ever takeover bid on the Lisbon stock exchange.

The offer, priced at 16% more than Portugal Telecom's closing level of 8.18 euros, was conditional on acceptances from the owners of at least 50.01% of the firm's 1.13 billion shares, Sonae said in the AFP report.

The report said shares in Portugal Telecom, the nation's largest telecom firm, hit a new high of 10.83 euros in early morning trading before easing below the 10-euro mark.
Analysts said the offer could trigger a bidding war for Portugal Telecom, which had long been seen as a potential target for Spain's Telefonica, the report said.

The report said Sonae would also go after Portugal Telecom's multimedia unit, PT Multimedia.