MILAN, Sept 5 Telecom Italia investor
Marco Fossati urged Telefonica to decide what to do
with its stake in the Italian company and said time was ripe to
join a consolidation wave in the telecoms industry.
"Telefonica must decide: either it sells its stake to make
way for other telecom players or it merges with Telecom Italia,"
Fossati, whose family holding company Findim holds 5 percent of
Telecom Italia, told Reuters on Thursday.
Fossati said time was ripe for Telecom Italia to change its
shareholder structure and merge with another sector player.
He said he believed that the current Italian government
would not stand in the way and block a possible merger with a
"The worst thing that can happen to Telecom Italia is
keeping the status quo," he said.
Telecom Italia is 22.4 percent-owned by Telco, which is in
turn controlled by Spanish giant Telefonica and Italian
financial institutions Mediobanca, Intesa Sanpaolo
Asked about a possible tie-up with AT&T or America
Movil, Fossati said: "I believe a good industrial
partner could help Telecom Italia grow and boost its share price
thanks to industrial synergies."
Investors' expectations of a shake-up in the telecoms sector
were ratcheted up this week when Verizon agreed to buy
British operator Vodafone out of its U.S. wireless
business for $130 billion, and Telecom Italia is seen as an