Netherlands-based Altice has agreed to buy Portuguese firm Media Capital, the owner of TVI television channel, and said it wanted to expand its business in Portugal where it already owns the largest telecom operator PT. Silvia Antonioli reports.
A Dutch firms is building a telecoms and media empire in Portugal. Netherlands-based Altice has inked a deal to buy Portuguese Media Capital -- the owner of TVI television channel-- for half a billion dollars. This only two years after its takeover of PT, the country's largest telecoms operator. And Altice is still thirsty for further growth in Portugal. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALTICE CEO, MICHEL COMBES, SAYING: "We are now entering this new step that we have always described as our strategy which is to put together telecommunications and media assets, we believe in this convergence strategy." Altice's boss expects the deal to navigate smoothly past regulators and responded to fears that such concentration could lead to layoffs in a country with 10 percent unemployment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALTICE CEO, MICHEL COMBES, SAYING: "We are not laying off people at PT . We need to be precise in that. We have no intention to lay off workers at Media Capital." But investors do think this deal will prompt further consolidation and shares in Impresa and Cofina have surged. Both these media firms are now seen as a target for PT's main rivals NOS and Vodafone Portugal in what could lead to a less diverse media offering.