Telecom Italia has expressed interest in buying GVT, the Brazilian telecoms operator owned by France’s Vivendi.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Marco Patuano, Telecom Italia’s chief operating officer, said the Italian incumbent would evaluate a purchase of GVT (Curitiba, Brazil) during its board meeting next month, but would need additional capital to fund the takeover.
Speaking at this week’s Morgan Stanley TMT conference, Patuano is reported to have said that Egypt’s Naguib Sawiris could provide the means to invest in GVT.
Sawiris has written to Telecom Italia’s board about acquiring a stake in the Italian operator, and Patuano said the board might welcome his interest if it decided to press on with an acquisition of GVT.
Earlier this month, Sawiris was reported to have offered to invest as much as €5 billion in Telecom Italia (Rome, Italy), which would give him approximately 30% of the operator at current market prices.
The Italian company is wrestling with debt and a slowdown in its domestic operations, and Sawiris is already familiar with the Italian market through his investment in telecoms operator Wind (Rome, Italy).
Telecom Italia is not the only company to be looking at GVT, however. The news that Vivendi (Paris, France) may consider selling the asset, as it looks to concentrate on its media-related interests, has already stirred the interest of companies that reportedly include DirecTV (El Segundo, USA), Oi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico).