Telecom Italia Media bid deadline to slip to end-Nov -sources

MILAN Mon Nov 5, 2012 12:37pm EST

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MILAN Nov 5 (Reuters) - The deadline for submitting binding offers for Italy's third largest broadcaster Telecom Italia Media is likely to slip to Nov. 30 from Nov. 19, two sources close to the situation told Reuters on Monday.

"The deadline is set to be postponed to Nov. 30," one of the sources said.

Italian telecoms group Telecom Italia has put its loss-making media arm up for sale as it seeks to cut debt. Its plans to sell the 77-percent-owned unit by year-end are complicated by uncertain prospects of the media industry.

Private equity fund Clessidra, Hutchison Whampoa's Italian telecom operator 3, U.S. TV group Discovery Communications and advertising firm Cairo Communication have made non-binding offers.

"At the moment, the deadline remains Nov. 19, but 3 has asked for a postponement to Nov. 30 and the request will probably be accepted," the second source said.

The sources said Clessidra and Hutchison are seen as frontrunners in the sale, as both aim to buy the entire group.

Telecom Italia was not immediately reachable for a comment.

Clessidra values Telecom Italia Media at 330-380 million euros, including debt, a source has said.

MF has reported that Hutchison is set to offer 300 million euros.

(Reporting By Danilo Masoni, Massimo Gaia and Claudia Cristoferi)