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Saudi telco STC ends talks to buy Altice Portugal

PIF-owned STC had offered $8.67bn for Altice Portugal, part of Altice Group founded by Patrick Drahi Reuters/Philippe Wojazer
PIF-owned STC had offered $8.67bn for Altice Portugal, part of Altice Group founded by Patrick Drahi
  • STC expanding in Europe
  • PIF-owned company walks away
  • Disagreement over final price

Saudi telecom group STC has ended talks with French-Israeli tycoon Patrick Drahi to buy Altice Portugal after a disagreement over the price. 

The Public Investment Fund-owned company, which is listed on the Saudi stock market, had offered 8 billion euros ($8.67 billion) for Altice Portugal, the European country’s largest telecommunications player, Portuguese online business site Eco reported. 

The talks broke down after two weeks of discussions on the final price, the report said, putting a minor dent in the Saudi company’s expansion plans. 



Last month, STC also initiated talks to buy the Dutch telecom and pay-TV operator United Group for a similar price of €8 billion, including debt. 

STC in September last year acquired a 9.9 percent stake in Spain’s Telefonica for SAR8.5 billion ($2.25 billion) as part of its global expansion drive. 

STC and PIF were considering a joint bid for the Austrian unit of Cellnex, Spain’s mobile phone tower operator, El Economista newspaper reported in April.

And in February, STC subsidiary Arabian Internet and Communications Services Company – known as Solutions – bought a 40 percent stake in regional IT consultancy company Devoteam Middle East for AED 726.3 million ($197.7 million). 

STC and PIF are also creating a new telecommunications infrastructure company, which is expected to have 30,000 mobile tower sites and estimated annual revenues of $1.3 billion. 

PIF will buy STC’s 51 percent stake in its Saudi subsidiary Tawal for SAR 8.7 billion ($2.32 billion) as part of the deal. Tawal owns infrastructure assets in Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.

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