January 29, 2016 / 3:52 PM / in 2 years

Vivendi says Telecom Italia's debt no obstacle to growth

ROME (Reuters) - Top shareholder Vivendi does not see Telecom Italia’s debt level as standing in the way of the Italian phone group’s investments or growth plans, according to written comments by Vivendi Chief Executive Arnaud de Puyfontaine.

De Puyfontaine appeared before the Italian Senate earlier this month to answer questions about his company’s investments in Telecom Italia, in which it has built up a stake of 21.4 percent to become its top investor.

The executive later submitted additional written comments that were published on the Senate’s website on Friday.

Asked whether Telecom Italia’s net debt level of 27 billion euros was sustainable or whether the company needed to be recapitalized, the French executive said Vivendi did “not see the company’s debt level as a disadvantage for its ability to invest and finance developments it wants to undertake”.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Agnieszka Flak

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