Africa’s Richest Woman Buys Portuguese Pay-Tv Company
Africa’s richest woman Isabel dos Santos has bought a further 5 per cent of Portugal’s leading pay-TV and Internet provider Zon Multimedia from Spain’s Telefonica.
The acquisition makes Dos Santos, the entrepreneurial daughter of Angolan President, the largest shareholder of Zon Multimedia, with her total share rising to 15 per cent. The move was her second foray into the Portuguese market after she secured 9 per cent share in Portugal’s third-largest listed bank Banco BPI.
According to Bloomberg, Zon shares were up 2.9 per cent to 2.649 euros ($3.427) in early trade on Wednesday after the announcement of the deal that came late on Tuesday, sailing against the wind while Lisbon’s stock index was 0.5 per cent lower. Sources close to the deal said dos Santos paid Telefonica 2.5 euros per share in a transaction worth a total of 38 million euros ($49.2 million).
Dos Santos, the avid investor daughter of Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Angola’s long-serving President, has been actively investing in Portugal.
According to Nuno Milheiro, a trader at Dif Broker, “it is a strong investor at a tough time for Portugal in which any money coming in counts”
Analysts believe cash from oil-rich Angola, a former colony of Portugal, can be pertinent in helping companies in the European country endure the shocks of recent deep recession as it implements tough austerity measures under a 78 billion euro ($100.9 billion) EU/IMF bailout package. They also hinted at more mergers and acquisitions for Zon.
Analysts lauded news of the acquisition, confirming the viability of the investor. Market experts have long argued that four telecom operators in a £mature market and recession-hit economy like Portugal” are a luxury.
Zon and telecoms group Sonaecom are seen as the most likely candidates to form a joint outfit, thanks to the sizeable synergy savings and the advantages of jointly competing against former monopoly Portugal Telecom.
Isabel dos Santos is said to be worth at least $170 million and is the richest woman in Angola. She is also said to have relevant interests in telecommunications, media, retail, finance and the energy industry, both in Angola and Portugal.