MILAN Dec 3 Shares in Telecom Italia Media
rose more than 3 percent on Monday, on expectations
that parent Telecom Italia could be closer to a sale
of Italy's third-largest commercial TV broadcaster.
Telecom Italia, which values its 77 percent stake in the
Telecom Italia Media at 176 million euros ($229 million), wants
to sell the business by the end of the year to help cut its debt
of more than 30 billion euros.
"There is speculative trading on the stock awaiting a
decision," a Milan trader said. "In general, a sale would be a
Recession and rising competition in Italy's TV market have
complicated the sale. The uncertain economic climate is expected
to show up in the buyers' proposed offers. This could disappoint
Telecom Italia, which is selling off assets to help reduce its
There are four bidders in the running: private equity fund
Clessidra, Hutchison Whampoa's Italian telecoms
operator, U.S. TV group Discovery Communications and
advertising firm Cairo Communication.
They have to submit binding offers by Monday, two weeks
after an initial deadline.
The Italian telecoms company, advised on the sale by
Mediobanca and Citigroup, will hold a board
meeting on Thursday, where it could examine the offers for its
media arm along with other important strategy issues.
By 1111 GMT, Telecom Italia Media shares were up 2.15
percent at 0.166 euros, outperforming the European media sector
index, which was up 1.2 percent.