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04 September 2013
| Kavit Majithia
Investors in Telecom Italia are reportedly seeking to sell their stake in the company, which could leave the Italian operator open to a takeover bid.
There are increased expectations
that the industry will be shaken up following Verizon Communications’ $130
billion deal to buy Vodafone’s stake in Verizon
Wireless, with Telecom Italia seen as a potential
Telecom Italia is controlled by shareholders through the Telco
holding company, but the fund has so far failed to find
partners to inject new funds into the company. Telecom Italia
has suffered from recession in its home market, with net debt
reaching more than €28 billion.
Italian investors are reportedly prepared to sell their shares
at the first opportunity and leave Telco by 28 September this
Spain-based Telefónica has the largest stake in Telco
and will have first refusal on the shares, or risk a bigger
rival taking a stake in the company.
Vodafone, Telefónica, Japan-based Softbank and a
partnership between AT&T and América Móvil
could emerge as possible bidders for the Italian
Telco’s 22.4% stake in Telecom Italia is valued at
€10 billion at the present market price, according to
Telefónica is reportedly intent on keeping its stake in
Telecom Italia, but a full buyout of Telco’s
shares may be opposed by regulators, as the Spanish company
also directly competes with Telecom Italia.