Sawiris eyes Telecom Italia, concerned about govt opposition

Sep 07, 2013, 7:51 AM EDT
REUTERS/lessandro Bianchi

MILAN, (Reuters) - Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris told Reuters on Saturday he was still potentially interested in taking a stake in Telecom Italia but may not submit an offer if the Italian government opposes the deal.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, Sawiris said he was "considering not submitting any proposal in view of the alleged (Italian government's) preference for Telefonica reported in the Italian press."

Spanish operator Telefonica  is the biggest investor in Telecom Italia, whose board is expected to discuss on September 19 some strategic options for its future, investors have said.

Sawiris said last year he was ready to inject 3 billion euros into Telecom Italia to take a stake.

He said on Saturday he had not submitted any new offer for Telecom Italia after last year's proposal was rejected by the company's board.