Telecom Italia top shareholder skeptical over Hutchison deal-sources

MILAN, April 11 Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:59pm EDT

MILAN, April 11 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia's main shareholder, holding company Telco, has given a cool reception to a proposal for a possible tie up with the Italian mobile phone unit of Hutchison Whampoa, three sources close to Telco told Reuters.

The sources were speaking after Telecom Italia's board discussed the proposal on Thursday and mandated its chairman and four board members to explore it further.

Telco, which has a 22.4 percent in Telecom Italia, is made up by Spain's Telefonica and Italy's Generali , Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca.

"The Telco shareholders are cool. The operation, as it is, is raising a lot of doubts," said one of the sources.

The source added that the panel mandated to explore the proposal, under which Hutchison aims to become Telecom Italia's leading shareholder, was expected to report back in two-three weeks. (Reporting By Paola Arosio and Gianluca Semeraro, editing by Silvia Aloisi)

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