Relations with businesswoman Isabel dos Santos, the largest shareholder of Unitel, “are improving and evolving”, declared the CEO of Brazilian telecommunications group Oi, Bayard Gontijo.
Gontijo also said that “We’re working with two scenarios. One is selling the asset, The other one is fixing those old disputes … in a structure where we have the shareholders’ agreement respected by both sides”. This outcome would include the African asset in Oi’s accounts and the unlocking of the process for payment of 246 million euros in dividends that have gone unpaid since 2011.
“We are changing the centre of gravity from Lisbon to Brasilia,” announced the CEO, adding that Brazil’s state development bank BNDES, a major shareholder and creditor of Oi, has strong relationships in Angola.
The stake in Unitel, and in other African assets, was inherited by Oi from Portugal Telecom SGPS, following a capital increase resulting from the merger of the businesses.
Unitel, which has the businesswoman Isabel dos Santos as one of its main shareholders, argues that it has the right of first refusal on the 25 percent that PT owns in Unitel in cases of sales or mergers (as was the case of Oi/PT SGPS ). (Source: Reuters, Macau Hub)