Telecom Italia denies talks about TIM Brasil, GVT merger: Reuters

Italian phone incumbent Telecom Italia has denied it is involved in talks to merge Brazilian subsidiary TIM Brasil with Vivendi-owned GVT, according to a report from Reuters.

The news comes after Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paolo is said to have reported that Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy) recently met with Vivendi (Paris, France) managers to hold preliminary talks about a merger of the two businesses.

“(There are) no ongoing talks over a possible GVT [Curitiba, Brazil] deal,” a Telecom Italia spokesman is quoted as saying by Reuters.

A Vivendi spokesperson is also said to have told Reuters that the Group had no knowledge of talks with Telecom Italia about GVT.

Although TIM Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is the growth engine of the Telecom Italia business, various shareholders believe it should be sold to help the Italian operator reduce debts and raise money for investment in Italian phone networks.

Last week, reports Reuters, Telecom Italia’s board agreed on the introduction of new safeguards for shareholders if it does move ahead with a TIM Brasil sale.

The fact that TIM Brasil competes in Brazil against Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) – Telecom Italia’s biggest shareholder – also appears to have raised concern among some investors that Spain’s incumbent would be favored if TIM Brasil were sold.