Telco to get TI stake this week; Tele2 sale price could rise

19 Sep 2007

The sale of an 18% stake in Telecom Italia is expected to close this week, Thomson Financial reports. Olimpia, the holding company which owns the stake, is being sold off by current owners Pirelli and Benetton. Olimpia is being acquired by the Telco consortium, which includes Spanish operator Telefonica as well as a number of Italian banks. Telco is paying EUR4.1 billion for Olimpia and assuming a further EUR2.7 billion of debt.

Meanwhile, a legal battle between Telecom Italia and the Italian subsidiary of Tele2 could lead to the sale price of Tele2 Italia rising by up to EUR187 million. A case was filed by Telecom Italia against Tele2 Italia in 2005, with the larger telco claiming that Tele2 had used deceptive advertising. Later the same year Tele2 sued Telecom Italia for EUR10 million for abuse of its dominant market position. Both civil suits are still ongoing and the uncertainty surrounding their outcome could push up the sale price of Tele2 Italia. The unit is being chased by a number of firms, including local internet firms FastWeb and Tiscali, and the cellular operator Vodafone, with the price initially estimated at around EUR400 million.

Italy, Tele2 Italia, Telecom Italia (TIM), Telefonica