A number of directors at Telecom Italia (TI) are rumoured to be looking at ways to disrupt an enforced sale of the telco’s Brazilian subsidiary TIM Brasil. TI’s largest single shareholder, holding company Telco, is majority owned by Telefonica of Spain, meaning the Spanish firm can nominate six of TI’s eleven board members. With Telefonica having its own successful operating subsidiary in Brazil, Vivo, regulatory authorities in the country want the firm to offload its interest in either TIM Brasil or Vivo to ensure an open competitive environment.
While Telefonica is thought to prefer the sale of TIM Brasil – either as a single unit or broken up and sold to rivals – reports from Bloomberg suggest that several directors at TI are hoping to force the matter to be decided upon by an independent committee at TI. While the committee could still ultimately recommend the sale of TIM Brasil, it would ensure any deal was carried out in the interests of the Italian firm rather than those of its Spanish shareholder. As reported by CommsUpdate yesterday, Telefonica is dismissing rumours that it has already established an investment group with rivals America Movil and Oi which is looking to take over TIM Brasil and hive off its assets.