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Monday, April 14, 2008 

Telecom Italia rejects merging with Telefonica

Telecom Italia's management rejected a call to merge with Spanish peer Telefonica even as a prominent investor that advocates the tie-up gained two board seats at Europe's fifth-biggest telecoms company.

The Fossati family, owner of a 4.45 percent stake in Italy's largest phone group, called last week for a merger with the Spanish giant, which has an indirect stake of 10 percent in Telecom Italia.

The family obtained two spots out of 15 on Telecom Italia's board, while funds association Assogestioni won one. Telco, the holding company that controls Telecom Italia, named the other 12 on Monday.

The Fossatis have said they do not have "hostile" intentions and aim to work with the management and controlling shareholders and not against them.

Several shareholders said they hoped the new management would revive the operator and reverse its falling profits, but most were very critical of the management's plans and proposed stock options for them.

Source: Reuters

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Pedro "K2" Macêdo

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