Luxembourg-based cable group Altice S.A. announced on Monday that it has offered US$8.8 billion to  acquire the Portuguese assets of Portugal Telecom (PT) from Oi of Brazil.

Following on Altice’s agreement earlier this year to acquire French wireless operator SFR, the  binding offer has the potential to transform Altice into a major player against Vodafone in the  Portuguese telecommunications market. If accepted by the Oi board, and if approved by regulators,  the deal would enable Altice to bundle PT’s fixed and mobile phone services with the video  offerings of Portuguese cable operators Cabovisao and Oni, both of which are owned by Altice.  Observers also say the proposed deal would unwind a merger of Brazilian telecommunications assets  announced last December by PT and Oi, the top-ranked provider of landline telecommunications  services in Brazil.

The offer, to be financed with new debt and existing Altice cash, encompasses existing businesses  of PT outside of Africa but excludes certain PT debt securities and OI treasury shares.  An Oi  spokesman, meanwhile, noted that board members had received the Altice offer and were evaluating the proposal.