Telefonica consortium wins TI stake

The $5.6 billion deal by Spain's Telefonica and three Italian financial institutions for control of Telecom Italia shows how strong political pressure was to keep the telecom in Italian hands. Pirelli and the Benetton family agreed to sell their 18 percent controlling stake in Telecom Italia to the foursome, which includes Italian banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca as well as Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali. AT&T had teamed up with America Movil a month ago to make a play for the stake, but AT&T bailed out quickly, leaving America Movil to try to attempt a deal on its own. The $5.6 billion deal means the consortium paid a 24 percent premium on Telecom Italia's pricetag.

For more on the TI deal:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)

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