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Portugal's Sonae says no impact on telecoms partnership from dos Santos sacking
November 16, 2017 / 11:38 AM / a month ago

Portugal's Sonae says no impact on telecoms partnership from dos Santos sacking

LISBON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The dismissal of Isabel dos Santos from her post as CEO of Angolan oil company Sonangol does not affect her Portuguese partnership that controls telecom firm NOS, an official in the partnership said on Thursday.

There is no reason to change things, said Luis Reis, chief corporate centre officer of Portugal’s No.1 retailer Sonae.

Sonae and Isabel dos Santos are jointly own holding company Zopt, which holds a 52.15 percent stake in NOS.

“It’s a partnership that has been exemplary from the point of view of strategic alignment between partners and we see no reasons for this to change,” Reis told Reuters,

Angola’s new president, Joao Lourenco, on Wednesday dismissed dos Santos, the daughter of his predecessor, as head of the state oil company in a dramatic move against the family of the former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Reis’ comments came despite the fact that outside of the telecom tie-up, the Sonae and dos Santo broke off a four-year partnership for food retail in Angola in 2015, which saw Sonae being forced to sell its share in their joint venture to the Angolan businesswoman.

Reis also said that Sonae, which on Wednesday posted a healthy 7 percent rise in nine-month sales to nearly 4.12 billion euros, will now seek to reinforce its presence in Mozambique and ponder investment in other African countries.

Last year, in partnership with private equity firm Satya Capital, Sonae bought two food retail stores in Mozambique.

“We are looking at Mozambique for the development of the operation we already have there. In Africa, we are looking at various countries across the continent,” Reis said.

Sonae shares were 2.8 percent higher on Thursday thanks to strong results, which made its profit fall less than expected after one-off gains a year earlier. (Reporting By Daniel Alvarenga, writing by Andrei Khalip, editing by Axel Bugge/Jeremy Gaunt)

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