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Telecom Italia needs to review Brazil strategy – CEO

Telecom Italia needs to review Brazil strategy – CEO

Telecom Italia will be reviewing its strategy in Brazil in a forthcoming board meeting due to the worsening economic situation in the country, according to CEO Marco Patuano. “For our Brazil unit, we are focused at the moment on organic investments but we need to review the strategic plan because the situation in Brazil has worsened a lot,” said Patuano at a recent event, according to Bloomberg. Brazil currently generates nearly 30 percent of the Italian operator’s revenue through its ownership of around two-thirds of TIM Brasil, the South American country’s number two mobile operator, valued at around USD 5.1 billion. Patuano, who is off to Brazil for a Telecom Italia board meeting on 25 September, said he was concerned about the economic downturn in Brazil, above all the 14.5 percent fall in the value of the Brazilian real this year. “Most of our investments in Brazil will continue to be in US dollars,” he confirmed.

Telecom Italia also plans to use the meeting to review its strategy for mobile tower unit Inwit, for which it is seeing “strong interest”, according to Patuano. “We have built a company that is financially very light to keep our hands free and able to move in all directions,” he said, according to Reuters. Inwit operates some 11,500 sites across Italy and the operator raised around EUR 875 million after selling a 40 per cent stake in the unit in an IPO in June. A recent Bloomberg report suggested Spain’s Cellnex Telecom was considering a bid for 30 percent of the tower unit, but Patuano confirmed there had been no contact with the Spanish operator over Inwit.

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