Telecom Italia board to discuss GVT and Sawiris offer in December

Telecom Italia board to discuss GVT and Sawiris offer in December

Telecom Italia is to discuss whether to bid for Brazil’s GVT and an investment offer made by Naguib Sawiris at a meeting on December 6.

The carrier’s COO, Marco Patuano, told Reuters that Telecom Italia was dedicated to its Brazilian unit and would consider further investments in the country.

"We always said Brazil is a core market for us, and there is a good and interesting asset for sale," he told the newswire in reference to GVT. "If the board considers that these investments have to be made in Brazil, then all the possibilities on financing will be evaluated, including the offer of Sawiris, which would add financial flexibility."

Pautano declined to comment on the amount Sawiris had offered to invest, with media reports this week suggesting it is from 2 to 5 billion euros.

Vivendi is selling GVT, an alternative provider for fixed, broadband and TV services in 120 Brazilian cities, as part of a group restructuring strateg. The French media group is reportedly looking to raise at least €7 billion from the sale.

Analysts suggest that GVT could be a good fit for Telecom Italia, which has a low fixed broadband market share in Brazil.

One hurdle to any investment could be Telefónica, owner of a 10.5% indirect stake in Telecom Italia. The Spanish giant may look to block any acquisition attempt, as the two directly compete in Brazil.

Telefónica lost out to Vivendi’s €2.9 billion for GVT when the telco was put up for sale in 2009.

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