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Pirelli deal turns control of Telecom Italia over to Spain's Telefonica with backing of Italian banks

Pirelli deal turns control of Telecom Italia over to Spain's Telefonica with backing of Italian banks

The board of Pirelli & C SpA accepted an offer Saturday night that turns over control of Telecom Italia to a consortium of companies comprising Spain's Telefonica and a group of Italian financial interests, Pirelli said in a statement.
Under the deal, Pirelli sells out its entire 80 percent interest in the Olimpia holding company, which had taken over Telecom Italia with an 18 percent share in 2001. The Benetton family also sells its 20 percent share in Olimpia, but it remains part of the controlling shareholder group.
The deal is worth euro4.1 billion (US$5.58 billion) _ or euro2.82 (US$3.84) a share, less Olimpia's debt. The transaction is expected to be completed by October, Pirelli said in a statement.
The new controlling shareholder group in Europe's fifth-largest telecoms operator is Spain's Telefonica, Mediobanca, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo, the insurer Generali Assicurazioni, and the Benetton family. Italian news agencies reported they will form a new company, Telco Spa, to control Telecom Italia with a 23.6 percent share _ incorporating also the 5.6 percent Telecom Italia share already held by Mediobanca and Generali.
The deal comes after U.S. telecoms giant AT&T backed out of talks to buy a controlling stake of Olimpia with its Mexican affiliate America Movil. AT&T cited regulatory concerns, but the move came amid concern from Rome about the former telephone monopoly falling under foreign control.
Premier Romano Prodi was among those who said he preferred that Telecom Italia remain in Italian hands.


Updated : 2021-04-14 14:08 GMT+08:00