TI interested in boosting Telecom Argentina stake

30 Sep 2011

Marco Patuano, Telecom Italia’s (TI’s) chief operating officer, has told the Italian press that the company would consider increasing its interest in Sofora, the holding company that controls Argentine fixed line incumbent Telecom Argentina, BNamericas reports. ‘We’re interested in increasing our participation in Sofora, but with reasonable conditions,’ the company executive was quoted a saying. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that TI finalised the acquisition of a 10% stake in Sofora from its local partner Werthein Group in March 2011 for a consideration of USD145 million. The Italian company raised its shareholding in Sofora from 58% to 68%, which in turn boosted its interest in Telecom Argentina from 18.3% to 21.1%. Werthein and TI each held a 50% stake in Sofora until October 2010, when TI received approval from Argentina’s antitrust agency, the National Commission for the Defence of Competition (CNDC), to raise its stake in the holding company to 58%. Under a deal announced in August 2010 Werthein agreed to hand over an 8% stake in Sofora to TI, enabling the Italian company to raise its shareholding to 58%. In return, TI agreed to drop an ongoing battle to enforce a 2009 put option that would have allowed it to buy out Sofora with immediate effect. The firm received a new option to buy out the Werthein group in 2013.

Argentina, Telecom Argentina (incl. Cablevision), Telecom Italia (TIM)