Exclusive: Telecom Italia investors in talks to keep status quo for six months - sources

Reuters
A Telecom Italia antenna booster is seen in northern Rome
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A Telecom Italia antenna booster is seen in northern Rome November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

MILAN (Reuters) - Telefonica (TEF.MC) is in talks with the Italian core shareholders in Telecom Italia (TIT.MI) to keep the same ownership structure for another six months, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.

That would give both the Spanish group and the Italian investors more time to study a reorganization plan for the debt-laden telecoms group.

"They are working on a solution that can allow Telefonica not to buy new shares in Telecom Italian and keep the status quo for a while," one of the sources said. "The idea is a postponement of six months, perhaps one year."

Telecom Italia's core shareholders, bound together in a holding company called Telco that owns 22.4 percent, have to say by September 28 if they want to exit their pact early and ditch their stakes.

To varying degrees Italian core investors Mediobanca (MB.MI), Generali (MIL:G), and Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) have signaled they are ready to sell their holdings.

(Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo, writing by Danilo Masoni, editing by Silvia Aloisi)

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