TI wants its Brasil Telecom stake back

16 Sep 2003

According to Telecom Italia (TI) chairman Marco Provera, his firm is anxious to recoup its original 38% holding in Brasil Telecom. Provera believes the country’s regulator Anatel will back a plan for TI to recover its shares, as set out in an agreement signed with asset management group Opportunity in August 2002. Under the contract, the Italian telco reduced its stake to below 20% to enable its mobile arm to launch services before Brasil Telecom met the build-out goals set down in its concession contract. At the time its shares were placed in holding companies on the understanding that they would revert to TI once Brasil Telecom had complied with its licence agreement. Although Anatel is expected to confirm by the end of October that the telco has met its obligations, Opportunity has tried to stop TI taking back control by asking shareholders to approve a change to the company’s bylaws prohibiting the appointment of board members with links to competitors. The strategy is clearly aimed at reducing TI’s influence in the company.