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Telecom Italia confirms M&A interest following Nextel speculation

Telecom Italia confirms M&A interest following Nextel speculation

After being linked last week to a possible bid for Nextel Brazil, Telecom Italia has confirmed that its board is considering its investment strategy, which could include divesting non-core assets.

The operator’s directors assessed possible acquisitions and divestments at its annual shareholder meeting on 24th September, with the mooted suggestions “subject to further discussions and subsequent decisions”.

Last week, ahead of the board meeting, Bloomberg reported that Telecom Italia CEO Amos Genish might suggest acquiring Nextel, as this would expand both its market share and metropolitan spectrum holding. While Nextel was not mentioned in Telecom Italia’s statement, the confirmation of its interest in M&A is likely to be seen as an unofficial expression of interest.

Telecom Italia currently controls TIM Brasil, which is the third largest operator in the market with an estimated share of around 25%. Nextel places fifth, and is currently controlled by NII Holdings. To fund an acquisition, Telecom Italia is reportedly open to the idea of selling its wholesale unit Sparkle and its media business Persidera.

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