Angola's Isabel dos Santos to relinquish stake in second Portuguese firm

LISBON (Reuters) - Angolan billionaire and former first daughter Isabel dos Santos, who is a suspect in a fraud investigation at home, will offload her controlling stake in Portuguese engineering firm Efacec, the company said on Friday - her second such move this week.

Angola named dos Santos a formal suspect over alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of funds during her time as chairwoman of state oil company Sonangol, while Portugal's market watchdog has launched inquiries into various firms where she holds stakes.

Dos Santos has denied any wrongdoing.

Efacec said in a statement that dos Santos had told the board she had decided to withdraw from the company's shareholding structure. It did not specify a reason and made no mention of any accusations against her.

On Wednesday, small Portuguese lender Eurobic, in which dos Santos was the largest shareholder with a 42.5% stake, said the businesswoman had decided to sell her share.

Dos Santos bought her controlling stake in Efacec for around 200 million euros in 2015 through offshore company Winterfell Industries.

The decisions to leave Efacec and Eurobic come during increased scrutiny of dos Santos after hundreds of thousands of files - dubbed the "Luanda Leaks" - were released by several news organizations on Sunday.

Dos Santos still holds significant indirect stakes in several important Portuguese firms such as oil firm Galp Energia and telecoms company NOS.

Dos Santos and Portuguese retailer Sonae each own 50% of holding company ZOPT-SGPS, which controls 52.15% of NOS. Following the scandal, three non-executive board members at NOS stepped down from their roles on Thursday, the company said in a statement. NOS shares fell by more than 5% on Friday morning before recovering some of the losses to trade 1.8% lower.

(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves, Andrei Khalip and Catarina Demony; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

01/24/2020 14:02

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