Egypt's Orascom seeks stake in Brasil Telecom

Egypt's Orascom Telecom has submitted a bid for a stake in Brazilian phone company Brasil Telecom Participacoes, the third-largest fixed-line operator in Latin America's most populous nation, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the bid is being assessed by Telecom Italia, a major shareholder in Brasil Telecom, Orascom's CEO Naguib Sawiris told Dow Jones Newswires.

Sawiris would not disclose the amount of the bid made by Orascom Telecom Holding, the Middle East's largest telecommunications operator by market capitalization, the report said.

Telecom Italia left the controlling group of Brasil Telecom in 2002 just before a lengthy battle began for control of the company, the report added.

Citigroup and a bloc of Brazilian pension funds have controlled Brasil Telecom since September 2005.

Telecom Italia International holds a 38% stake in Solpart Participacoes, which is Brasil Telecom's holding company, the report said.