Portugal Telecom withdraws from Guine Telecom and Guinetel companies

25 October 2010

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, 25 Oct – The Portugal Telecom group is no longer a shareholder in the Guinea-Bissauan public companies Guine Telecom and Guinetel, the Bissau authorities announced on Friday in a communiqué released in the capital.

“The minister of the economy has informed the Council of Ministers about the progress of negotiations, which based on a friendly agreement led to cession of the shares held by PT Comunicações, representing 40 percent of Guine Telecom’s share capital, and the shares held by PT Investimentos Internacionais, representing 55 percent of the share capital of Guinetel,” the text reads.

Economy Minister Helena Embalo indicated that further efforts were being conducted by the state secretary for transports and communications, it adds.

Guine Telecom was founded 19 years ago after an agreement between Portugal Telecom (40 percent), the Guinea-Bissauan state (50 percent) and employees (10 percent).

Guine Telecom has endured technical and financial problems since 2004, deriving from the lack of investment and falling revenues.

In March 2008, PT and the Guinea-Bissauan state began negotiations aiming to assure the company’s viability, but were unable to reach agreement.

PT alleges the absence of conditions to make investments in Guine Telecom, as the Guinea-Bissauan state owes the company nearly 30 million euros. (macauhub)