Marco Patuano, the chief executive officer of Telecom Italia (TI), met Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore yesterday to discuss a possible offer for the French media group’s Brazilian telecoms unit Global Village Telecom (GVT). According to two unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter, whilst no formal bid is on the table, TI is proposing to merge its own Brazilian operation – TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) – with GVT, in return for which Vivendi would take a stake in the Italian group. The source said that TI would not look to launch a capital increase to fund the deal, while it remains to be seen whether a capital increase will be needed at TIM Brasil. If realised, the proposal would fly in the face of market predictions that a cash call would be required to fund the purchase for GVT, Reuters reports. The Italian firm has been disposing of assets in Argentina and elsewhere of late, to help fund costly network investments. TI is however, looking to prevent rival Telefonica from acquiring GVT and could submit a formal offer to Vivendi by the end of the month, one source said.
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