Minister wants networks to remain in Italian hands

21 Mar 2007

Italy’s Industry Minister has said he hopes that local investors can be found to take over Pirelli’s stake in Telecom Italia holding company Olimpia. Pierluigi Bersani told reporters: ‘I hope that Italian financial and industrial forces are able to act as protagonists in this big event,’ Dow Jones reports. The government is known to be keen to keep Italy’s telecoms networks under domestic ownership. It is thought that a number of financial institutions, including Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca, are looking at buying into Italy’s largest telco. Pirelli is looking for buyers for all or part of its 80% interest in Olimpia, which holds 18% of Telecom Italia. Spanish telco Telefónica had been linked as a prospective buyer but its interest now appears to have cooled.

Italy, Telecom Italia (TIM)