Equity group shows TI interest

23 Nov 2006

US-based private equity firm Blackstone Group has revealed that it would be interested in acquiring a stake in Telecom Italia if shares were to be made available. Dow Jones quotes Blackstone’s chairman Tony James who said: ‘If the shareholders are willing to sell we would be interested. We would even consider a minority stake.’ Referring to Telecom Italia’s mobile unit TIM, he said: ‘I think it’s an excellent company with a strong market position.’ There has been much speculation over Telecom Italia’s future ownership following its controversial announcement in September that it was to reorganise its businesses to concentrate on broadband and media operations.