Bloomberg News

Ongoing to Invest 350 Million Euros, Expand in Brazil, Africa

July 22, 2011

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Ongoing Strategy Investments SGPS SA, a Portuguese investment company, plans to spend 350 million euros ($505 million) over three years to expand its business and make acquisitions outside Portugal.

Ongoing Strategy, whose biggest holding is a 10.1 percent stake in Portugal Telecom SGPS SA, is also looking for opportunities in Portugal and is paying “close attention” to the planned privatization of Portuguese state-owned broadcaster RTP, Chief Executive Officer Nuno Vasconcellos said.

“Our goal is to create a big technology, media and telecommunications group in Portugal, Brazil and the Portuguese- speaking African countries,” Vasconcellos said in an interview yesterday from his company headquarters in Lisbon.

The investments would be financed through the sale of non- strategic assets and a possible capital increase, said Vasconcellos. Ongoing is the second-biggest shareholder in Portuguese broadcaster and publisher Impresa SGPS SA. Vasconcellos said he hasn’t decided yet whether to keep Ongoing’s 23 percent stake, adding that he is very “uncomfortable” with the current management.

“Something has to change,” said Vasconcellos. “Shares in Impresa have been falling for years.”

Impresa’s stock has dropped 56 percent this year, heading for the sixth annual decline in seven years.

Ongoing was set up in 2004 to manage the Rocha dos Santos family fortune. The company publishes daily newspapers Diario Economico in Portugal and Brasil Economico in Brazil, and has a stake of more than 3 percent in cable television company Zon Multimedia SGPS SA.

Ongoing’s stake in Portugal Telecom is a strategic, long- term investment, the CEO said.

The investment company’s revenue increased 11 percent to 620.2 million euros last year, and net income rose more than fivefold to 236 million euros.

--Editors: Thomas Mulier, Robert Valpuesta.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net


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