TI not ruling out sale of Argentina unit

23 Apr 2009

The chairman of Telecom Italia (TI), Galateri di Genola, has said the Italian telecoms company is not ruling out the sale of its Argentine unit Telecom Argentina, according to Reuters. Recent reports in Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore said TI was considering selling its 50% stake in Sofora, the holding company that controls Telecom Argentina and has made contacts with businessmen in Brazil. TI’s shareholding in Sofora is reported to be worth up to EUR300 million (USD388.7 million). When asked about a sale of the stake in Sofora, Galateri said that the solution will include the ‘examination of all the options, so nothing is excluded.’

The announcement follows a decision by Argentina’s antitrust agency in early April barring TI from making decisions regarding its Argentina unit and the subsequent rejection of the Italian company’s appeal. Galateri said ‘a legal (solution) is no longer the preferred’ choice for Argentina after the antitrust ruling. Finding solutions for its activities in Argentina is ‘very delicate’ and is being tackled with ‘extreme attention and prudence’ including talks with the government and a possible non-conflictual solution, he told Reuters.