Telefonica of Spain has announced plans to sell EUR750 million (USD583.5 million) in bonds which convert to Telecom Italia (TI) shares, effectively reducing its stake in the Italian operator from around 15% to approximately 10%. Reports suggest that this could be the first step in Telefonica exiting TI altogether. As reported by CommsUpdate last week, Telefonica is rumoured to be negotiating with unnamed investment funds to offload its stake in the Italian operator, whose TIM Brasil unit competes against Telefonica’s Vivo operation in Brazil’s cellular sector. That country’s telecoms regulator Anatel and competition watchdog CADE have called for Telefonica to exit either Vivo or TIM Brasil to ensure full competition in the local market. Earlier this month Telefonica sold EUR139 million of bonds which are convertible into TI shares.
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