Telecom Italia Owner Telco Writes Down Stake by $1.1 Billion

Telecom Italia SpA’s largest shareholder group, bracing for a breakup, wrote down its stake in the country’s biggest phone company by 830.5 million euros ($1.1 billion) after the stock slumped.

Telco, the investment group led by Telefonica SA, announced the writedown today in a statement. Its 22.4 percent holding in Telecom Italia is now worth about 3.8 billion euros, based on the carrier’s market capitalization. Mediobanca SpA, Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and Assicurazioni Generali SpA said in recent weeks they’re exiting Telco, leaving Spain’s Telefonica with a direct 15 percent holding in Milan-based Telecom Italia.

Telco reported a loss of 952.5 million euros for the latest fiscal year. The investment vehicle was set up in 2007 as Telecom Italia sought to fend off a takeover bid by AT&T Inc. and Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB.

Telco will be dissolved as soon as regulators sign off on the plan, according to the statement.

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