CK Hutchison and VimpelCom, which received EC approval for their Italian merger, can exercise a buy-sell option on their respective stakes three years after the deal completes.

A VimpelCom presentation, seen by Reuters, contains a slide that shows both shareholders “can invoke a buy-sell mechanism at any time”, three years post completion.

The deal, expected to be finalised by Q4 this year, will see the two companies each hold a 50 per cent of a holding company combining VimpelCom’s Wind and Hutchison’s 3 Italia.

A source told Reuters that the option would be used in case the parties reach a deadlock in terms of decision making.

It is however not clear which company would hold first rights to buy the other party’s stake, should they both invoke the option. Mobile World Live is awaiting comment from VimpelCom on the matter.

The €21.8 billion merger will increase competition with current market leader Telecom Italia and number two operator Vodafone Italia. The Wind/3 Italia entity will be the country’s largest operator.

It will also see the entrance of a new competitor in the market. Key to securing approval from regulators was a commitment by Hutchison and VimpelCom to sell assets to France’s Iliad once the merger completes.