“We must focus on our operation”, says Altice Portugal CEO

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The chief executive officer (CEO) of Altice Portugal, Ana Figueiredo, defends, in a letter sent to employees, that the owner of Meo should focus on its operation, continue to execute the business plan and improve its performance.

“As is in the public domain, Altice Portugal was one of the companies searched by the Portuguese authorities in compliance with a warrant issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, as part of an investigation targeting individuals and entities outside our group”, begins by saying Ana Figueiredo, in the missive sent this afternoon, to which Lusa had access.

“Since that first moment, and driven by the transparency that Altice Portugal has always been guided by, we are providing the authorities with all the collaboration” and, “in addition to this response to the request of the authorities, the Altice group has already started an internal investigation related to the purchasing processes and the processes of acquisition and sale of real estate of Altice Portugal, as well as of the entire Altice Group”, continues the CEO, who took office in April last year.

Today, the Group’s co-CEO, Alexandre Fonseca, “made known the decision to suspend all his functions within the scope of the Group’s executive and non-executive management business activities in several geographies, including the positions of ‘Chairman’ in several subsidiaries”, recalls Ana Figueiredo.

The CEO states that “this is a decision that the Altice Group accepts and values, as it helps to safeguard the pursuit of its business activity and promotes the defense of the principles of transparency and unequivocal collaboration in establishing the facts”.

“We will not deviate from what was yesterday, and will be tomorrow, our focus – serving our customers, providing a service of excellence, and continuing to lead in the Portuguese market, being the most innovative company in Portugal. In short, to do what we do best”, defends the executive.

“We must therefore focus on our operation, continue to execute our Business Plan and improve our performance,” he said.

“After the various meetings” promoted throughout the country and which ended last week in Lisbon, “I am sure that I am counting on you and your energy in this mission”, stresses Ana Figueiredo.

“I am sure that together we will lead the future,” she concludes, thanking her employees.

The “Picoas operation”, triggered on July 13, led to three arrests, including that of the co-founder of the Altice group Armando Pereira, had about 90 home and non-home searches, including the headquarters of Altice Portugal, in Lisbon, and premises of companies and offices in various parts of the country, according to the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) of the Public Ministry (MP).

This was a joint action by the MP and the Tax Authority (AT).

At issue, allegedly, is a “vitiation of the Altice group’s decision-making process in terms of contracting, with practices harmful to the group’s own companies and to competition”, which point to private corruption in active and passive form.

The authorities consider that the State has been defrauded of a tax amount “in excess of €100 million”.

On June 2, 2015, Altice completed the purchase of PT Portugal.

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