In its new role as a significant shareholder in Telecom Italia (TI), Vivendi wants the operator to sell its Brazilian business, TIM Brasil, and focus on its home market and southern Europe, according to a Bloomberg report.
Vivendi is set to up its stake in TI to as much as 15 per cent, after receiving an 8.3 per cent stake through its sale of Brazilian broadband group GVT to Spanish operator Telefonica.
Vivendi’s chairman, billionaire Vincent Bollore, reportedly wants TI to merge with a European rival, although doesn’t want to become an activist shareholder. The preference is for the Italian operator to focus on cost-cutting.
However, according to a subsequent Reuters report, TI’s chairman, Giuseppe Recchi, said that there had been no contact with Bollore, and that there are “set occasions for meeting shareholders”.
TIM Brasil is Brazil’s second-largest operator and is 67 per cent owned by Telecom Italia. Speculation about the future of the business has been ongoing for some time.