MADRID/MILAN Jan 6 Spain's Telefonica
denied on Monday that it was involved in looking at making a
joint offer for Telecom Italia's Brazilian wireless
network operator TIM Brasil.
Shares in Telecom Italian were lifted on Friday by an
Italian press report saying Telefonica was looking to set up a
vehicle with Brazilian market rivals America Movil and
Oi to take over TIM Brasil and break it up.
"Telefonica would like to clarify that it is not part of any
such vehicle and it has no details of any kind on any such
potential transaction to disclose to the public for market
evaluation," the Spanish telecoms company said in a statement to
Spain's stock market regulator.
Telefonica added that it had not had any specific contact
with Brazil's competition watchdog Cade over such a deal.
Shares in Telecom Italia were down 0.9 percent at 0.7510
euros by 0822 GMT on Monday, when Telefonica was up 0.6 percent
at 11.74 euros.
Telefonica owns 15 percent of Telecom Italia through
investment vehicle Telco and late last year secured an option to
gradually take over the stakes of its partners in Telco, a group
of Italian financial institutions.
The move to take over Telco concerns the Brazilian
authorities because Telefonica controls local mobile network
Cade ruled in early December that Telefonica must exit its
direct and indirect stake in TIM Brasil or reduce its stake in
Vivo - a business which Telefonica regards as strategic, people
familiar with the Spanish group's plans told Reuters last month.
Those sources also said that Telefonica aimed to break up
TIM Brasil and divide its assets and networks between itself and
the two other Brazilian mobile phone operators.
Telefonica said again on Monday that it was looking at the
possibility of taking legal action against Cade over what it
described as the "unreasonable" remedies proposed.