Portugese telco Sonaecom has played down a weekend report in Portugese newspaper Expresso that it had agreed with Spain’s Telefónica to swap stakes in two of Portugal Telecom (PT)’s subsidiaries for Telefónica’s 9.96% stake in PT if Sonaecom’s takeover bid for PT is successful. Under the proposed deal, PT’s stakes in Brazilian mobile operator Vivo and Moroccan cellco Meditel would be swapped for Telefónica’s holding in PT, but Sonaecom said yesterday that it has not reached any such agreement: ‘Sonaecom has not signed any contract or reached any agreement with Telefónica in order to establish, in the present or future, to any of the parties, rights or obligations over PT or any of its assets,’ its statement read. Sonaecom’s EUR11.1 billion bid for PT is currently being studied by the Competition Authority. The main sticking point is over a plan to merge Sonaecom’s domestic mobile arm Optimus with its cellular rival, PT’s Telecomunicaçoes Móveis Nacionais (TMN), which would reduce the market to two main players and give the new cellco more than 60% of the market. Sonaecom has proposed a number of remedies, which the regulator is currently studying. A decision is expected by the end of July.
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