Tycoon offers to buy stake in Telecom Italia


Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris has offered to buy a stake in Telecom Italia, he and Italy’s largest telecoms company said yesterday, in the latest sign of interest from emerging-markets investors in struggling euro zone companies.

The heavily indebted Italian group said a document from Mr Sawiris was read out at a board meeting last Thursday. In a statement, it added that management was still reviewing the offer to put in fresh cash in return for an issue of new shares.

Telecom Italia did not say how much he might invest and the Egyptian described as “excessive” reports he might offer up to €5 billion – at current prices that would buy more than a third of the firm and so force a outright bid. Telecom chairman Franco Bernabe said Mr Sawiris’s interest showed “there is important value in the company”. – (Reuters)