Vivendi buys more shares in Telecom Italia
23 November 2016 | Alan Burkitt-Gray
French media group Vivendi has renewed its stalking of Telecom Italia by announcing that it has increased its shareholding in the Italian operator to 23.15%.
The move was taken to bring Vivendi’s holding in the group back to levels it has had for the past couple of years. Vivendi is the largest single shareholder in Telecom Italia and has long been seen as a potential buyer of the whole group.
The French group said: “Vivendi announces that it has purchased additional Telecom Italia ordinary shares on the market in order to bring its participation back to previous levels following the dilution of its 24.68% stake in Telecom Italia’s share capital to 21.91%. The dilution results from the maturity of a bond mandatorily convertible into Telecom Italia ordinary shares.”
In April Telecom Italia – which operates in Italy and Brazil under the TIM brand and owns the Sparkle carrier business – appointed Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine as its deputy chairman.
In August Orange denied a French report that there was a secret deal between it and Vivendi concerning Telecom Italia. The report suggested that Orange would take a stake of up to 20% in Vivendi’s pay-TV company Canal Plus and take over Vivendi’s stake in Telecom Italia.
Vivendi sold control of its SFR mobile business in France to Altice in 2014, though it still has a small shareholding.