Telecom Italia says it tells regulators no bids received for Brazil business

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Dec 02, 2013 04:33 AM EST

Telecom Italia said it has not received any offers for its Brazilian unit, Tim Participacoes, and that it wants to hold on to the business. The company issued the statement in response to a request from an Italian regulator regarding Telecom Italia's plans for its Brazilian business. Telecom Italia is a Milan-based mobile telephone and data transmission services provider. It provides local and long-distance telephone calls, access to the internet, satellite communications and teleconferencing services in Italy and abroad through its subsidiaries.

In its statement, Telecom Italia said it was not going to pursue a sale for Tim Participacoes nor there were any unsolicited offers it received for the Brazilian arm. A mobile telecommunications provider, Tim Participacoes services include text messaging, multimedia messaging, video call, web browsing, television access and voice mail, among others.

Together with the clarification about its Brazilian arm, Telecom Italia also responded to regulator's queries about its Argentine arm as well as its mandatory convertible bond. Last month, Telecom Italia said it was going to sell Telecom Argentina to Fintech, an investment company, in a deal worth USD 4 billion.

In October, sources told Bloomberg that although Telecom Italia wants to hang on to Tim Participacoes, the Milan-based telecommunications company's largest stakeholder Telefonica would prefer to sell or break up the Brazilian arm. The report added that Telefonica agreed to boost its stake in the holding firm that controls Telecom Italia's board and owns 22.4% of the company. Telefonica is also an owner of a wireless operator in Brazil.

The Bloomberg report also said that Telecom Italia and Telefonica may consider an agreement that would enable them to combine their Brazilian businesses. Bloomberg  said the information was based on a report which appeared on Il Messaggero on December 1.

As of November 29, Bloomberg said Telecom Italia shares had increased 4.5% to 71.8 cents. This valued the firm at EUR 13 billion or USD 17.7 billion.

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