Portugal Zon shareholders approve Optimus merger

LISBON, March 7 Thu Mar 7, 2013 11:10am EST

LISBON, March 7 (Reuters) - Shareholders in Portugal's Zon Multimedia on Thursday approved a proposed merger with Optimus, the mobile phone unit of Sonaecom, to create the country's second-largest telecoms firm, increasing competition.

Shareholders representing around three-fourths of Zon's capital were present at the meeting and 99 percent of those present voted for the merger that will incorporate Optimus into Zon.

In January, the boards of the two companies involved approved the merger that will set up a rival with enough muscle to compete against former monopoly Portugal Telecom.

Optimus shareholder approval is a mere formality as its owner Sonaecom is controlled by conglomerate Sonae, which is in its turn controlled by tycoon Belmiro Azevedo.

The two companies will have combined revenues of more than 1.6 billion euros and hold around 26 percent of the Portuguese telecoms market. Zon is also active in Angola and Mozambique.

Zon is the largest pay-TV firm in Portugal and fourth-largest telecoms operator in terms of revenue. Optimus ranks as Portugal's third telecoms firm after the local unit of Vodafone Group Plc. (Reporting By Filipe ALves, writing by Andrei Khalip, editing by Axel Bugge)