The announcement was made through Altice Europe, which has confirmed the sale of 49.99% of the MEO subsidiary's fiber optic network to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners. The sale of a minority stake of the network, which was valued at 4.63 billion euros, will allow 1,565 million euros to be raised by 2020, and two other tranches are expected to be paid in 2021 and 2026, both of which will be 375 million, as indicated in the press release.
The statement noted that the deal creates "the first nationwide fiber network retailer in Europe" and will "generate a major boost to the Portuguese telecommunications market and the economy." It further underlines that this strengthens Altice Europe's infrastructure portfolio, which had already been started with the sale of telecommunications towers in Portugal and France and the creation of SFR FTTH.
"SFR FTTH and towers in France and fiber and towers in Portugal already account for more than 0.8 billion euros of revenues and more than 0.5 billion of EBITDA, effectively constituting one of the largest infrastructure infrastructures. telecommunications in Europe, "says Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice.
He said the deal would allow the group to accelerate towards its goal and pave the way for refinancing transactions by 2020, easing Altice Europe's debt reduction program.
Fiber network with change announced
Altice had already done a similar business deal with Morgan Stanley in 2018 for the telecommunication towers, joining at the same time the towers it owned in Portugal and France. And at the end of the year it also sold 49.99% of SFR FTTH's capital, which added SFR's infrastructure, to an investor group consisting of Allianz Capital Partners, Axa Investment Managers Real Assets and Omers Infrastructure for 1.8 billion. of euros.
The intention to sell the fiber optic network had been known for several months and Altice was evaluating several proposals. With this deal Altice Portugal FTTH will be created, which includes all MEO fiber assets, including FTTH and dark fiber, and will sell services to telecommunications operators in Portugal as a retailer and under the same financial conditions, the statement said. from Altice Europe. For its part, MEO will sell technical services to Altice Portugal FTTH for the construction, subscriber connection and maintenance of the fiber network.
It is recalled that Portugal Telecom purchased the fixed telecommunications network from the state in 2002 and has been developing the infrastructure and moving towards fiber optics, which is expected to cover more than 4 million homes by the end of 2019 and Altice. Portugal FTTH "intends to continue to extend the network", says the same source.