Shares of Brazil's Oi soar on potential Telecom Italia takeover
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian telecommunications company Grupo Oi SA's shares soared on Tuesday after a media report that Telecom Italia SpA is considering taking over the company to counter Spanish rival Telefonica SA in Latin America's largest phone market.
Telecom Italia spoke to advisers about using its Brazilian unit, TIM Participações SA to buy Oi, but no approach has been made, Bloomberg reported, citing three sources familiar with the discussions.
Media representatives in Brazil for TIM and Oi declined to comment on the report.
Oi is Brazil's largest fixed-line phone company and also provides mobile phone service.
The potential move comes just weeks after Telecom Italia lost out to Telefonica in the bidding for smaller phone and data provider GVT SA, denying TIM Participações and its Italian parent a new avenue of growth in Brazil.
Many in the telecommunications industry had expected Telecom Italia to sell TIM Brasil to local rivals, including Grupo Oi. Oi asked investment bank BTG Pactual SA to find ways to bid for TIM Participações.
At 2:11 p.m. local time (18:11 BST), Oi shares were up 12.58 percent at 1.70 reais, while shares of TIM Participacoes were down 3.05 percent at 13.35 reais.
(Reporting by Asher Levine; Additional reporting by Luciana Bruno in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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