Sawiris interested in big Telecom Italia investment

Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris will reportedly invest approximately $2 billion in Telecom Italia if the Italian operator’s largest shareholder, Telefónica, exits the group.

Sawiris failed to secure a stake in Telecom Italia in 2012, but earlier this year Italian officials said that they had no objections to an offer.

A source told a local Italian newspaper that Sawiris is likely to make another bid, but it will not be immediate.

“I don’t expect things to move in the short term,” the source said. “Telecom Italia still looks too expensive for Sawiris.”

Telefónica holds a 22.4% stake in Telecom Italia, and Sawiris has long been critical of this involvement, given that the two companies are direct rivals in Brazil.

Earlier this year, Telefónica was rumoured to be preparing a joint bid for Telecom Italia’s Brazilian wireless arm, TIM Brasil, with the reported intention of breaking it up to enhance Telefónica’s position in the Brazilian market.

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