PARIS Feb 15 France Telecom said it
agreed on an option to sell its 20 percent minority stake in
Portugal-based telecom operator Sonaecom to majority
The agreement covers a period of 21 months. During the first
18 months, Sonae will have the possibility of buying the stake.
Failing this, in the following three months France Telecom will
be able to sell the stake to Sonae.
The price has been set at 98.9 million euros ($132 million),
the French company said in a statement on Friday, adding that
the price could rise to 113.5 million under certain conditions
relating to the consolidation of the Portuguese telecom sector.
"This agreement secures France Telecom-Orange's stated
objective of disposing of its minority shareholding in Portugal
under terms that allow the group to benefit from the potential
consolidation of the Portuguese telecommunications market,"
France Telecom said.
Portugal's Zon Multimedia and Sonaecom last month
agreed to merge Zon with Sonaecom's Optimus mobile unit to
create the country's second-largest telecoms firm and better
compete with former monopoly Portugal Telecom.
That deal had the backing of France Telecom.
Sonae is controlled by tycoon Belmiro Azevedo.
($1 = 0.7490 euros)
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)