ROME Oct 24 Italy plans to "rapidly" introduce a measure that will lower the threshold for obligatory takeovers, an Economy Minister official said on Thursday, a move that could complicate the takeover of Telecom Italia by Spain's Telefonica.
Under current law, a forced bid for 100 percent of a listed company's shares is required if one party collects more than a 30-percent stake, while the new measure would force a full takeover bid if a controlling stake in a company is acquired, Economy Ministry Undersecretary Pier Paolo Baretta said.
Telefonica is set to gain control of the Italian telecoms group after securing a deal in September that will allow it to gradually increase its stake in Telecom Italia's holding company, Telco, which controls the company with a 22.4 percent stake.
If the theshold is reduced, it would be forced to make an offer to all shareholders in Telecom Italia. (Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri; writing by Steve Scherer.)