The French media and entertainment group Vivendi is considering increasing its stake in Telecom Italia (TI) to around 10%-15% once the Italian firm’s current largest shareholder – the Telco consortium – is dissolved and its members have divested their shares. Vivendi is set to inherit an 8.3% stake in TI as part of Telefonica’s acquisition of Vivendi’s Brazilian unit GVT; Telefonica agreed to divest its TI shares on competition grounds since the Italian company is also active in Brazil.
According to a report from Reuters, the Telco partnership – which holds a 22.4% interest in TI and involves Telefonica plus Italian banking and insurance firms Intesa Sanpaolo, Mediobanca and Generali – is to be dissolved in the coming days. The transfer of Telefonica’s shares to Vivendi will then take place, leaving the French group with an 8.3% direct holding. Although Vivendi has spent the past two years divesting most of its telecoms interests – including SFR of France – Reuters cites two sources who say that it would seek to gain control of TI as it looks to increase its presence in Italy’s media and content sectors via the country’s largest broadband internet provider.