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Merger of Portuguese telecoms Zon, Optimus to complete by mid 2013
[December 17, 2012]

Merger of Portuguese telecoms Zon, Optimus to complete by mid 2013

LISBON, Dec 17, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The merger between Portuguese telecoms Zon and Optimus will be completed by July 2013, Optimus' parent company Sonaecom said Monday, adding that the new company would be Portugal's second largest in market value With more than five million customers and revenues exceeding 1 billion euros, the company born out of the merger will not only be the second largest in Portugal following the Portugal Telecom (PT), but will become an integrated operator effectively offering fixed and mobile telephone, television and Internet services.

The market value of the new operator will be around 1.4 billion euros.

According to a Sonaecom statement, the merger, which will push joint company profits to over 700 million euros, will change the telecoms landscape of Portugal forever, nudging rival Vodafone into the third place.

More details of the agreement will be make public as soon as shareholders have voted on the decision.

Sonaecom shares shot up by 17 percent Monday, hitting their highest trading value since February 2010, while Zon shares also rose by 15 percent, the highest in 17 months.

"The merger between Zon Multimedia and Optimus will most likely get the OK from shareholders of both companies and the Portuguese authorities but nevertheless still requires the approval of shareholders and regulatory authorities, which in our opinion should be favorable," said an analyst close to the deal.

"There are many costs that can be shared, such as advertising, call centers, administrative, billing systems, business structures, among others," the analyst added.

The news of the Zon and Optimus agreeing merger came as Portugal Telecom announced Monday that it has now reached over 100 million customers worldwide.

In a statement filed to Lisbon's Securities Market Commission (CMVM), PT said the development represented a "strategic milestone for the company."

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