The chief executive of Telecom Italia (TI) has reaffirmed its commitment to its operations in Brazil despite speculation that its TIM Brasil unit could be broken up and sold off to rivals. Marco Patuano claims to have told the Brazilian government that his company is ‘here to stay’, the Financial Times reports. Speaking last week, Patuano commented: ‘I met two-thirds of the government and said that we are here to stay, we are investing, we are making our network better, we are not dismantling our company waiting for the inevitable end.’
Telefonica of Spain, which controls wireless operator Vivo and is also the largest single shareholder in TI, has been told by Brazilian regulators to reduce its influence in the country’s telecoms market. Most speculation has centred on Telefonica pushing TI towards the break-up and sale of TIM Brasil, but Mr Patuano maintains that the problem is Telefonica’s and it does not concern TI: ‘Everything could have a price, but we feel comfortable in Brazil. Today, we have no discussions with anybody.’ Another Brazilian mobile player, Mexico-based America Movil, said last week that it would be interested in acquiring parts of TIM Brasil should it be sold off.