Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel has approved the dissolution of the Telco consortium, which is the largest shareholder in Telecom Italia (TI) and includes Telefonica of Spain, Intesa Sanpaolo, Gruppo Generali and Mediobanca. Following the split, Telefonica will be the largest single owner of TI shares, with a 14.8% interest, though it has committed to offloading its stake in the Italian firm within 18 months in order to comply with competition requirements in Brazil, where both firms are active in the mobile sector. In addition, Telefonica has agreed to have its voting rights in TI frozen until it exits the company. Meanwhile, Generali will have a 4.32% share of TI, and Sanpaolo and Mediobanca will each control 1.64%.
There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the future of TI’s Brazilian venture, TIM Brasil, which lies second in the country’s mobile market just behind Telefonica’s Vivo unit. As reported in TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate earlier this month, Vivo is considering teaming up with local rivals Oi SA and Claro Brasil to make a BRL40 million (USD15.4 billion) offer for TIM Brasil, with its operations to split among the three partners. TI, however, has gone on record to say that it is keen to hang onto its Brazilian business.