(Ecofin Agency) - Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos and her Portuguese partner Sonaecom agreed on dissolving their joint-venture ZOPT, which owns a 52.15% stake in Portuguese telecom operator NOS SGPS. This means Isabel will no longer be a majority shareholder in the telecom company once the deal is implemented.
Although Soneacom did not provide details on this separation, the company may be trying to protect itself from the backlashes Isabel recently suffered due to the battle with the Angolan court over alleged corruption.
Suspected by the Angolan judiciary of significant misappropriation of public funds, several of her assets have been frozen in Angola and Portugal. These include her shares in NOS, which were subject to a preventive seizure by the Portuguese justice last April.
Sonaecom explained in a press release published on August 19 that once this dissolution operation is done, it wishes to remain “the reference shareholder of NOS.” To achieve this objective, the company has reached a purchase and sale agreement with Banco BPI for the acquisition, through a direct transaction, of 38,000,000 shares representing 7.38% of the capital and voting rights of NOS SGPS. With its 26.07% of shares already held through ZOPT, Sonaecom will then control 33.45% of the Portuguese telecom operator.