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Telefónica confident on T Italia clearance

13 сентября 2007

Telefónica has expressed confidence that Brazilian regulators will soon give clearance for a consortium including Spain’s leading telecoms company to buy a controlling stake in Telecom Italia.

The deal has been approved by European Union authorities, but requires clearance by Brazilian regulators because Telecom Italia, Italy’s largest telecoms company, owns a mobile phone operator in the Latin American country.

César Alierta, Telefónica‘s chairman, said he was “very confident” that Anatel, Brazil’s telecoms regulator, would approve the deal, possibly before the end of the month.

He also commited the group to improving its German mobile business, whose performance has been deteriorating over the past year.

Telecom Italia has been in limbo since April when a consortium, led by Italian financial institutions, but also including Telefónica, announced plans to buy a controlling stake in the Italian telecoms company for €3.3bn ($4.6bn) in cash.

Claro, a Brazilian mobile business owned by Carlos Slim’s América Móvil, Telefónica’s main rival in Latin America, has been accused of trying to delay or thwart completion of the deal.

Claro is demanding access to documents about the transaction that were submitted to Anatel by the Italian-led consortium.

Claro went to court earlier this month to try and secure access, but a judge ruled that it could only look at the documents after Anatel had given its ruling on the deal.

Telefónica jointly controls Vivo, Brazil’s largest mobile operator, but Mr Alierta said the Spanish company had given a commitment not to interfere in the management of Telecom Italia’s Brazilian wireless business.

He played down the idea that Telefónica could pursue a merger with Telecom Italia later, saying the two companies would have an industrial alliance to deliver cost savings through joint purchasing of telecoms equipment and sharing of networks.

Source: http://www.ft.com

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