Telefonica completes Telecom Italia takeover

Two Telecom Italia board members resigned, just hours after Spain's Telefonica and a group of Italian financial heavyweights took control of Telecom Italia, completing the long-awaited 4.1 billion euros ($5.8 billion) takeover, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the acquisition of a 23.6% controlling stake in Telecom Italia by Telco, a holding company comprising Telefonica and four major Italian financial investors, was expected to bring to an end a period of limbo at Europe's fifth-largest telecommunications company.

The purchase of the stake from the Olimpia holding company, controlled by Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera, who resigned as Telecom Italia chairman last year, had been negotiated in April but was hung up on approval by regulators in Brazil, where both Telefonica and Telecom Italia control major cellular phone operations, the report said.
That approval came Tuesday night.

Italian media have speculated that the new shareholder structure could lead to changes in management; the current board has a one-year mandate that expires in April.

Telecom Italia said in a statement that board members Carlo Puri Negri and Claudio De Conto have resigned, effective immediately, the report further said.