March 20, 2007 / 7:08 PM / 12 years ago

Portugal's Richest Man Hands Sonae to Son

PORTO, Portugal (Reuters) - Sonae’s SON.LS Chief Executive Belmiro de Azevedo said on Tuesday he will propose that his son, Paulo, takes over to lead Portugal’s largest conglomerate when he stands down.

The nomination by Portugal’s richest man comes after Paulo Azevedo led Sonae’s failed 11.8 billion euro bid for Portugal Telecom PTC.LS. Paulo Azevedo led the bid campaign as chief executive of Sonae’s telecoms unit Sonaecom (SNC.LS).

“A new administration will be proposed, I assume the place of president of the board but I will not continue as chief executive, a function which will be assumed by Paulo Azevedo,” Belmiro de Azevedo told journalists.

Sonae, which has businesses ranging from telecommunications to retail chain Modelo Continente, is controlled by Azevedo.

Paulo Azevedo said said Sonae’s three core activities in the long term will remain “retail, commercial centers and telecommunications.”

There had been speculation that Sonae was considering selling Sonaecom after the failed bid for Portugal Telecom. But Belmiro de Azevedo said “we would only sell Sonaecom if there was an offer we can’t refuse but there is no offer we can’t refuse.”

Sonae reported earlier on Tuesday a rise in 2006 net profit to 242 million euros from 187 million euros, beating expectations.

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