Telecom Italia again debunks Telefonica acquisition rumors

Telco SpA's three main investors are railing against speculation that emerged in an article in Italian newspaper Milano Finanza (MF) that it may be selling the stakes it owns in Telco, the holding company that retains control of Telecom Italia SpA, to Spain's Telefonica.

Intesa Sanpaolo Spa, Media and Mediobanca SpA and Assicurazioni Generali SpA said in a joint statement that MF's article is "entirely without foundation."

The MF speculated that Telefonica, which currently owns a 10 percent stake in Telecom Italia through its investment in Telco, could purchase the holding in Telco for about $3.18 to $3.73 a share.

The idea of Telefonica taking a bigger piece in Telecom Italia has continued to mount since late--2008 when a report in Italian newspaper La Republica emerged that one investor wanted the Spanish-based telco to buy Telecom Italia. While nothing ever materialized from the ongoing rumors, they were enough to prompt the Italian government to come out and say it wanted to keep the business under Italian rule.

For more:
- BusinessWeek has this article

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