Telecom Italia investors reject €800m Telefonica buyout offer

ITALIAN shareholders in Telecom Italia this month rejected an €800m (£672m) offer from Spain’s Telefonica to buy part of their stakes, Italian business newspaper

Il Sole 24 Ore said yesterday.

Telefonica is the biggest shareholder in Telco, the holding that controls Telecom Italia with a 22.4 per cent stake. Telco also includes Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca, as well as insurer Generali.

In an unsourced report, the newspaper said Telefonica asked the Italian shareholders to remain in Telco in order to avoid potential antitrust problems in Latin America, where Telefonica and Telecom Italia are competitors.

The paper said the Italian investors spurned the offer, which it said was made in early September, and that negotiations were “very complicated and difficult”.

It said an outright merger between Telefonica and Telecom Italia was out of the question.

Telecom Italia and the three Italian shareholders were not immediately available for comment, while Telefonica could not be reached for comment.