According to Portuguese daily Diario Economico, a possible merger between Portuguese broadband operators Zon Multimedia and Sonaecom is up for discussion once more, despite both parties publicly pouring scorn on the speculation. Although senior officials at both companies have refused to add credibility to the claims – with a Sonae Group spokesperson claiming that the subject ‘has long ceased to be on the table’ – the newspaper’s source has indicated that informal talks are currently underway between the rival firms’ key shareholders. The anonymous source said: ‘Important shareholders that were so far opposed to the deal are now in favour [of the proposal]’. Further, according to Diario Economico, Caixa Geral de Depositos (CGD) has made it clear that it hopes to dispose of its remaining 10.9% stake in Zon, whilst France Telecom has indicated that it seeks to sell off its 20% stake in Sonaecom, enhancing the future investment prospects for foreign investors.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, as at end-March 2011 Zon Multimedia claimed a 32.7% share of the Portuguese broadband market, whilst rival Sonaecom possessed a 4.7% market share; Portugal Telecom (PT), the leading broadband operator in terms of subscribers claimed a 48% market share at the same date. PT spun off its controlling stake in cable network operator PT Multimedia in November 2007, forming a standalone company which was re-named Zon Multimedia in January 2008 to reflect the separation