(Adds that two bids submitted)
By Danilo Masoni and Jennifer Clark
MILAN Dec 4 Two potential buyers submitted
offers for Italian television broadcaster Telecom Italia Media
on Tuesday after majority owner Telecom Italia
extended the deadline on bidding for its 77 percent
Bids for Telecom Italia Media, which owns Italy's La7 and
MTV channels, had been due on Monday but were extended by a day,
a person familiar with the matter said.
"They agreed on having some extra hours," the person said.
Italian fund manager Equinox has presented an offer with
fellow private equity investor Clessidra for Italy's
third-largest commercial broadcaster, Equinox's head Salvatore
Mancuso said on Tuesday. He provided no further details.
In addition media company Cairo Communication has
also made an offer, a source familiar with the situation said.
Cairo's advertising sales unit sells slots on Telecom Italia
Media's television channels under a deal which runs to 2014.
Telecom Italia has said it is open to bids for its whole
interest but will also consider selling the cash-burning TV
channels separately from the profitable broadcast network
operator, which leases bandwidth to carry its own and rival
Shares in Telecom Italia Media last traded at 0.166 euros,
giving the company a market value of 241 million euros ($315
million). Telecom Italia values the 77 percent stake on its
books at 176 million euros.
The sale might be a drop in the ocean for Telecom Italia in
trying to cut its 30 billion euros of debt but would give a
buyer an opportunity to shake up the status quo in an Italian
media market long dominated by former Prime Minister Silvio
However, a buyer also faces the recession and increasing
competition in Italy's TV market.
Telecom Italia, advised on the sale by Mediobanca
and Citigroup, is due to hold its next board meeting on
Thursday, when it is expected to address a host of important
It was not clear if Hutchison Whampoa's Italian
telecoms operator 3 Italia and U.S. TV group Discovery
Communications have decided to go ahead with bids for
the media company after making non-binding offers earlier this
Meanwhile Tunisian media entrepreneur Tarak Ben Ammar said
on Monday he would announce on Wednesday the identity of a new
international partner to invest in the media sector in Italy.
Italian newspaper reports speculated that the investor could be
the sovereign wealth fund of either Qatar or Abu Dhabi.
Ben Ammar, a former business partner of Berlusconi who sat
on Mediaset's board from 1997 to 2002, is on the board of
Mediobanca. He also sits on the board of Telecom Italia.
(Additional Reporting by Stephen Jewkes and Gianluca Semeraro;
Editing by Greg Mahlich)