T.Italia main shareholder mulling bond, pact renewal-reports

Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:37am EDT

MILAN Oct 17 (Reuters) - Telco, the holding company that owns 24.5 percent of Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI), is mulling a 2.6 billion euro ($3.88 billion) bond as its shareholders agree a renewal of their pact for three years, newspaper reports said on Saturday.

An unsourced report in Il Corriere della Sera said Telco is considering issuing an 18-month bond which would be for institutional, not retail, investors.

The bond would be to cover maturing debt and would be an alternative to a capital increase at the holding company, the paper said.

It added however a mandate for structuring the operation has not yet been given nor has there yet been a meeting between the Telco shareholders to approve it.

Telco shareholders include Spain's Telefonica (TEF.MC), insurer Generali (GASI.MI), banks Mediobanca (MDBI.MI) and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI), and the Benetton BNG.MI family's Sintonia.

The shareholders could discuss the bond at a meeting next week, Corriere said. According to an unsourced report in Il Sole 24 Ore, the Telco shareholders have agreed in principle to a three-year renewal of their pact ahead of its official expiry on April 28 next year.

Under the new accord, shareholders would have the right to exit the pact after 18 months, it said.

Agreement on the new pact follows a meeting between a high level delegation from Telefonica and Telco's Italian shareholders in recent days, it said.

Spokesmen for Telefonica and Benetton declined to comment the reports.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Toby Chopra)

($1=.6702 Euro)

((stephen.jewkes@thomsonreuters.com; +39 02 6612 9695; Reuters Messaging: stephen.jewkes@reuters.com@reuters.net) Keywords: TELECOMITALIA TELCO/

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