Portugal's Sonaecom, Zon announce merger plans

LISBON Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:04pm EST

LISBON Dec 14 (Reuters) - Portugal's Sonaecom and the largest shareholder in pay TV and telecommunications firm Zon Multimedia said on Friday they plan to merge Zon and Sonaecom's mobile phone unit Optimus.

Market experts have long argued that four telecom operators in a mature market and recession-hit economy like Portugal are at least one too many and predicted the Zon-Sonaecom merger especially after Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos increased her stake in Zon to almost 30 percent in June.

The two parties said in a statement they "reached a deal to promote jointly with the boards of Zon Multimedia and of Optimus a merger operation by incorporating Optimus into Zon." (Reporting By Andrei Khalip)