Portugal: Sonae buys controlling stake in telecoms operator NOS

Sonae has formalized a purchase contract with BPI to buy 7.38% of NOS, advising that when ZOPT is dissolved, it will own 33.45% of the telecoms operator.

In a statement sent to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM), “Sonae informs that it has formalized a purchase and sale agreement with Banco BPI for the acquisition, through an over-the-counter transaction, of 38,000,000 shares representing 7.38% of the share capital and voting rights of the publicly traded company NOS, SGPS, at market price”.

As a result of this transaction, Sonae will now own 306,644,537 shares of NOS, representing 59.52% of the share capital and voting rights in NOS: directly as a result of the 7.38% shareholding, and indirectly, through the joint control exercised by its subsidiary Sonaecom through ZOPT, of 268,644,537 shares representing 52.15% of the share capital and voting rights in NOS.

Sonaecom holds 50% of the share capital of ZOPT, which in turn holds 52.15% of the NOS.

With the dissolution of ZOPT, Sonae will own 33.45% of the telecommunications operator.

“Sonae further informs that, on the date of ZOPT’s dissolution, as announced on Wednesday by Sonaecom to the market, Sonae will continue to hold a controlling stake in the NOS representing 33.45% of the share capital and voting rights in that company, as a result of the direct attribution of that stake”, the Group concludes. 

Sonaecom has today made “public that the shareholders of ZOPT (i.e.: Sonaecom itself, Unitel International Holdings, BV and Kento Holding Limited) have agreed to take the necessary steps to dissolve ZOPT, so that its assets, including its shareholding in NOS, will be allocated proportionally among ZOPT shareholders”.

As soon as such sharing is achieved, “NOS will no longer be under the joint control of Sonaecom and Isabel dos Santos (as controlling shareholder of Unitel International Holdings, BV and Kento Holding Limited)”, reads the statement.

“Sonaecom also informs that it intends to remain a reference shareholder of NOS, SGPS, SA and to continue to ensure a framework of shareholder stability favourable to the development of its important business project in the telecommunications sector”, it adds.

On 15th June, Sonaecom had informed that the Lisbon Central Criminal Investigation Court had authorised ZOPT to exercise the corresponding voting rights, after half of them had been pre-emptively seized, following the publication of news about allegedly fraudulent schemes involving Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos. 

Currently, ZOPT is 50% owned by Sonaecom and the remaining half by Isabel dos Santos.