August 31, 2014 / 1:00 PM / 3 years ago

Telecom It weighs all options to boost Brazil unit -chairman to Corriere

MILAN, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia will consider all options to bolster its Brazilian unit, Tim Partecipacoes, after it lost a battle to buy Brazilian broadband business GVT, Telecom Italia Chairman Giuseppe Recchi told Corriere della Sera.

The company may also look at a commercial tie-up with Mediaset as a way to share content and technology with the Italian broadcaster, which is controlled by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, Recchi told the newspaper on Sunday.

“Our duty (on Tim Partecipacoes) is to invest and also to take into account extraordinary operations if an opportunity arises,” Recchi was quoted as saying. No concrete plan was on the table at the moment, he said.

Bankers and investors on Friday said that Telecom Italia needed a plan B after French group Vivendi preferred Spanish group Telefonica’s offer for its unit GVT to the bid by the Italian company.

Telecom Italia and Telefonica compete in Brazil as owners of number-two mobile carrier Tim Participacoes and number one Vivo respectively.

Vivendi’s choice ended Telecom Italia’s ambitions to combine Tim Partecipacoes with GVT to strengthen its position in the South American country, which is the world’s fourth-largest telecoms market.

“We already had the green light from the board to raise our bid (on GVT) much higher, but we refrained from doing it because we thought that ... an increased offer would not have created value for the company,” Recchi said, denying the company lost the battle with Telefonica due to lack of financial resources. (Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Larry King)

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