Altice Europe sells almost half Portuguese FTTH business

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Altice Europe’s subsidiary, MEO, has agreed to sell a 49.99% stake in Altice Portugal FTTH to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, based on a value of €4.63 billion.

The company said the deal will create “the only truly nationwide fibre wholesaler in Europe”.

Altice expects the move to generate a “major boost” for the Portuguese telecom market and economy.

Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice, noted too that the deal would “open the way to significant refinancing transactions in 2020, enabling us to accelerate our announced programme of debt interest reduction.”

The company also claims this is the first time in Europe that an incumbent telecom operator has separated its fibre into a dedicated wholesale vehicle.

Infrastructure assets

Drahi said, “I am very pleased that our partnership with Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, initiated in the context of our Portuguese tower transaction in 2018, now continues with a transformational fibre project.

“Following this transaction, Altice Europe has obtained cash proceeds in excess of €5.7 billion through the transformational SFR FTTH transaction and the various tower sales and partnerships announced in 2018. Altice’s portfolio of infrastructure assets continues to grow.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Altice Portugal FTTH is the largest FTTH wholesaler in Portugal, on track to reach.4 million homes by the end of 2019. All of MEO’s fibre assets, including FTTH and dark fibre, are included in Altice Portugal’s assets.