Monday Chaos

Update: They also launched another offer against PT Multimedia, which further compounds my theory.

In an unusual twist, Sonae is launching what I would call an “interesting” take-over of Portugal Telecom, offering 22% over their current stock price - which might be very tempting for the large private shareholders.

The Jornal de Negócios site has been effectively slashdotted after the announcement, so it might feel a mite sluggish.

Since that was pretty much the highlight of my day, I’ll leave the rest for later. For those of you tuning in from outside, this is a bit like WalMart going for AT\&T (yeah, those are ridiculous examples, but there are a lot of people with nervous smirks all over the place right now).

My take is that their main goal is to break the incumbent’s hold on cable and fixed broadband (with a couple of secondary goals that may have bearing on the Telefonica and France Telecom ties of both groups), and the only thing I really care about is whether or not this will impact (either positively or negatively) either of their mobile concerns (for the non-Portuguese in the audience, that’s TMN and Optimus).

Which doesn’t mean I won’t be taking a close look at their financial statements on the fixed side… After all, I used to work in that line of business ;)

So, here are the shareholder breakdowns for Portugal Telecom and PT Multimedia:

Portugal Telecom Shareholder Breakdown
Telefónica                        9.96%
Brandes Investments Partners      8.53%
Grupo Banco Espírito Santo        8.36%
Capital Group Companies           5.60%
Grupo Caixa Geral de Depósitos    5.14%
Cinveste                          2.58%
Grupo Fidelity                    2.09%
Patrick Monteiro de Barros        2.04%
Inst. Financ. do Estado Português 1.88%
Total                            46.18%
Unaccounted for                  53.82%

PT Multimedia Shareholder Breakdown
Portugal Telecom        58.43%
Santander                9.98%
BES                      8.05%
BPI                      2.72%
Colaney Investments Ltd. 2.24%
Total                   81.42%
Unaccounted for         18.58%

Considering these and the constraints placed on the offer, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that grabbing a significant portion of Portugal Telecom and PT Multimedia shares will be a strong argument in Sonae’s hands for Portugal Telecom to relinquish portions of its fixed assets…

But hey, it’s pretty early in the game.

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