UPDATE 3-Telecom Italia seals $1 bln masts deal, to examine tie up with Oi
* Telecom Italia to sell Brazilian towers for over 900 mln euros
* Management to explore options for Tim Brasil-Oi integration
* Says wants to buy controlling Metroweb stake (Recast after statement)
By Silvia Aloisi and Danilo Masoni
MILAN/BARCELONA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia will examine a possible tie-up between its Brazilian unit Tim Participacoes and local group Oi, it said as it announced the sale of mobile phone masts for more than 900 million euros ($1.1 billion).
Brazil's telecom market is in the process of consolidating as growth in mobile telephony slows and operators bulk up to fund hefty investment in broadband networks.
Telecom Italia, which owns 66.5 percent of TIM Participacoes, said after a board meeting on Friday it had mandated its management to "examine in-depth the options for a possible integration" of Tim Participacoes and Oi.
"The next steps, if there are to be any, will be submitted to the board for approval," the group said in a statement, without giving any further details.
It said the board of the Brazilian mobile phone operator had approved the sale of its mobile phone towers to American Tower Corp for over 900 million euros, confirming an earlier report by Reuters. Continuación...