Italy poses no objections on Telecom Italia foreign stake

The Italian government doesn't have any objections to international companies buying a stake in Telecom Italia, Italy's former telecommunications monopoly, Italy's Infrastructure Minister Antonio Di Pietro, quoted by a Dow Jones report, said.

The Dow Jones report said Pirelli and Spanish firm Telefonica last week said they were in talks about Telefonica possibly buying a minority stake in Telecom Italia's parent company, Olimpia.

Pirelli holds an 80% stake in Olimpia, an unlisted holding which in turn is the leading shareholder in Telecom Italia, with an 18% stake, the Dow Jones report said.

'We don't place any limits on ownership, be it Italian or foreign, of the telephone company or public networks,' Di Pietro was quoted by Dow Jones as saying.

Autostrade, Italy's biggest operator of road tolls by revenue, and Spain's Abertis Infraestructuras pulled out last year of a merger in the face of stubborn opposition from the Italian government, the Dow Jones report further said.

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