Vivendi is satisfied with its recently confirmed 14.9 per cent stake in Telecom Italia (TI) but may consider upping its holding in the future, Reuters reported.
Speaking to reporters in Rome after a meeting with Italian industry minister Federica Guidi, CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine said: “We are happy (with our stake) but the saying goes: never say never.”
He also said no formal request had been made to get two seats for its representatives on TI’s board, and squashed rumours that Vivendi was interested in bidding for Italian broadcaster Mediaset.
However, sources indicate, existing board member Tarak Ben Ammar, who represented Mediobanca on TI’s board, may shift to representing Vivendi. Vivendi bought Mediobanca’s stake in TI.
De Puyfontaine’s remarks regarding Vivendi’s TI stake is a reiteration of what he told Italian daily Corriere della Sera last month: “Time will tell, never say never.”
Last month, the French group received a stake of 8.24 per cent in TI in exchange for 4.5 per cent of the share capital of Telefonica Brasil, in accordance with the option given it as part of the sale of Brazilian broadband group GVT to Telefonica.
Separately, it spent €1 billion to increase its recently purchased holding from 1.9 per cent with an additional stake of 4.76 per cent purchased on 22 June.
The move may have come as a surprise as over the past two years the group sold off assets in telecoms companies to focus on content and media, but a spokesperson told Mobile World Live that the move was part of an “opportunistic and pragmatic” approach.