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Sawiris to buy shares in Telecom Italia

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The deal may put Sawiris in conflict with Telecom Italia’s controlling shareholders

Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris wants to invest 3-4 billion euros in Telecom Italia. (AFP / PHOTO)

Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris wants to invest 3-4 billion euros in Telecom Italia. (AFP / PHOTO)

The Egyptian telecom tycoon Naguib Sawiris has made an offer to buy a stake in Telecom Italia.

The deal is intended to help fund the acquisition of a Global Village Telecom unit in Brazil which is being sold by Vivendi, reported Reuters.

The French communications company is trying to raise €7 billion from the sale of GVT .

According to the Italian press, Sawiris intends to invest €3 billion in the deal which will allow him to re-enter the Italian market after selling Wind Telecomunicazione SpA last year.

The shares of the company rose by 4.2 per cent in reaction to the news, bringing its market value to €13.4 billon.

The deal may put Sawiris in conflict with Telecom Italia’s controlling shareholders led by the Spanish telecommunication provider Telefonica S.A.

The Spanish company along with other Italian investors, who own 22.4 per cent of Telecom Italia through the holding company Telco SpA, is likely to resist the deal because it will dilute their share of earnings, commented the analyst at Espirito Santo Research in Lisbon, Nuno Matias.

The analyst added: “I don’t see why Telefonica would be keen on a transaction like that, on top of that the government’s opinion on such a deal can’t be ignored,” reported Bloomberg.

The chairman of Intesa Sanpaolo’s (one of Telco’s main shareholders) management board stated Monday at a conference in Milan that he had no comment on Sawiris’s offer, while the Italian Industry Minister Corrado Passera said: “Each time institutional investors say they’re interested in Italy, I’m happy.”


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