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Sonaecom Not in Talks to Merge With Zon Multimedia, CEO Says

March 09, 2012

Sonaecom SGPS SA (SNC), owner of Portugal’s smallest mobile-phone operator, wants to develop its business alone and isn’t in talks to merge with Zon Multimedia SGPS SA (ZON), Chief Executive Officer Angelo Pauperio said.

“There is nothing on the table,” Pauperio said in a telephone interview yesterday. “No negotiations are taking place” between Sonaecom, based near the city of Oporto, and Zon about a possible merger, he said. “The circumstances have dictated that we go about developing our business in an autonomous way.”

Caixa Geral de Depositos SA, a state-owned Portuguese bank, will sell its 11 percent stake in Zon, Portugal’s biggest pay-TV company, Jornal de Negocios reported today, without saying how it obtained the information. The bank may invite various companies to present proposals to buy the stake, including Sonaecom and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), according to Negocios.

Sonaecom rose 0.4 percent to 1.26 euros at 1:08 p.m. in Lisbon. Zon rose as much as 6.6 percent, the biggest increase in more than two months, and was 5.6 percent higher at 2.42 euros.

A merger between Sonaecom and Zon “makes sense,” Nuno Matias, an analyst at Espirito Santo’s investment bank, said in an interview yesterday. Matias estimates savings of 330 million euros ($436 million) from the possible merger.

Optimus Policy

Zon was spun off from Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (PTC) following Sonaecom’s failed bid for the former national phone-operating monopoly. Zon Chief Executive Officer Rodrigo Costa said on Jan. 12 that “we don’t spend time thinking about consolidations” during day-to-day operations.

Sonaecom’s mobile unit Optimus will stick to a “very aggressive” calling-rate policy to attract new customers and gain market share, Pauperio said. Optimus controlled 21.2 percent of Portugal’s mobile-phone market in the third quarter of last year, he said.

The company competes with Vodafone and Portugal Telecom’s mobile unit TMN for mobile-phone customers in Portugal.

For financing, Sonaecom doesn’t have “needs that aren’t covered until the end of 2012,” Pauperio said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at

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