ROME (dpa-AFX) - Egyptian billionaire investor Naguib Sawiris is looking to acquire a minority stake in Telecom Italia S.p.A. (TI, TIAOF.PK) for an investment of 5 billion euros or $6.36 billion, according to media reports on Sunday. The company's management board is said to have already discussed the offer from Sawiris in a meeting on Friday.
The proposed investment by Sawiris will reportedly give him a near 30 percent stake in the Milan-based Italy's largest telephone company based of current market value.
Meanwhile, other stake holders of the company include Telefonica SA (TEF), Assicurazioni Generali SpA (ARZGY), Mediobanca S.p.A and Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. (IITSF), who together hold a 22.4 percent stake in Telecom Italia through its holding company Telco SpA.
Sawiris could reportedly be looking to buy the stake from the open market as any other process would likely not gain approval from the company's major shareholders.
The company revealed Friday that it is currently in the process of reducing debt by about 2 billion euros to 27.5 billion euros by the year-end by selling assets. This includes the planned spin-off of the company's fixed-line network and the sale of its media business.
The proposed stake purchase by Sawiris, founder of Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E. (OTLD.L), will come as a shot in the arm for the company which is trying to reduce debt.
TI closed Friday's regular trading session at $8.74, up $0.31 or 3.68%on a volume of 0.32 million shares.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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