Reuters reports that Spain’s Telefonica and Italian investors have closed their purchase of an indirect controlling stake in incumbent Telecom Italia (TI). Telefonica, in partnership with banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca, insurer Generali and the Sintonia holding company, has bought an 18% stake in TI, one of Europe’s largest operators, from Pirelli for EUR4.16 billion (USD5.95 billion). The consortium will place the new stake, along with other direct holdings in TI, into a new holding company called Telco, which will own 23.6% of the Italian former monopoly. Telefonica will pay EUR2.31 billion for 42.3% of Telco and will get 9.9% of the voting shares of TI, the largest player in its domestic market. The purchase may lead to cooperation between the two companies on purchasing, selling new services in the countries where they both operate and jointly expanding in new markets, TI has said.
First announced in May, the deal cleared its last hurdle on 23 October when Brazil’s telecoms regulator approved the deal with restrictions, saying Telefonica and TI must continue to operate their Brazilian mobile phone units separately.