Group from Timor-Leste buys stake in Timor Telecom from Brazil’s Oi

4 July 2016

The controlling stake held by Brazilian group Oi in Timor Telecom is expected to be acquired by the ETO group of Timor-Leste (East Timor) and a final agreement is due to be reached soon, said Ivan Pereira de Araujo, head of the VSLN/Thelson/Bona Fide consortium.

The consortium hired by Oi to conduct the negotiation and sale of shares recently told Portuguese news agency Lusa that 11 purchase proposals had been analysed and that the selected proposal was put forward by ETO, owned by businessman Nilton Gusmão.

“The fact that it is a Timorese citizen, that has the financial capacity and successful management, were some of the most important factors for closing the deal with Nilton Gusmão,” said Pereira de Araujo.

The deal involves the largest stake in Timor Telecom (54.01 percent), controlled by Telecomunicações Públicas de Timor (TPT) which, in turn, is 76-percent owned by Oi, in addition to a direct stake of 3.05 percent held by PT Participações SGPS.

The remaining shareholders of TPT are Fundação Harii – Sociedade para o Desenvolvimento de Timor-Leste (linked to the diocese of Baucau), which controls 18 percent and Fundação Oriente (6 percent).

Timor Telecom’s capital is split between TPT (54.01 percent), the Timorese State (20.59 percent), VDT Operator Holdings (17.86%) a company based in Macau, and Timorese businessman Julio Alfaro (4.49 percent).

The Oi group later told Macauhub it was still interested in selling its stake in Timor Telecom and was considering proposals to do that. So far it has not reached any agreement with a potential buyer, it said. (macauhub/BR/PT/TL)