Telecom Italia Offices Searched in Review by Market Regulator

Telecom Italia SpA said its offices were inspected by stock market regulator Consob and Italian financial police seeking information about the company’s recent sale of mandatory convertible bonds and planned disposal of assets in Argentina.

“Telecom Italia underlines that it has always operated in compliance with the laws and regulations that regulate the financial market and guarantees the maximum collaboration with the authorities,” the Milan-based company said in a statement.

The phone carrier said the officials also sought information “regarding the confidential nature of privileged information and the keeping of the register of the individuals having access to such information.”

A Consob spokesman declined to comment before the company’s statement.

Asati, a group of Telecom Italia small investors, said in a Nov. 11 statement that minority shareholders were discriminated against in the sale of the convertible bonds.

In addition to the bonds sale, regulators are reviewing Telecom Italia’s plan to sell its 22.7 percent indirect stake in Telecom Argentina SA.

Asati also asked Consob for clarification of the disposal of the asset in Argentina, saying the phone company hasn’t provided enough details about the deal.

Telecom Italia’s board on Nov. 7 asked management to conclude the Telecom Argentina stake sale. Telecom Italia unveiled plans that day to sell its Argentine business, assets including wireless towers in Italy and Brazil, and the bonds to raise a total of about 4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) to help pare debt.

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