Telecom Italia (Italy)

Telecom Italia is Italy's dominant telecoms and broadband provider. In addition to the country's main fixed line network it owns mobile operator TIM and Olivetti business machines. It also has a significant presence in Latin America through TIM Brasil, that country's #2 mobile provider. However, the group has struggled for years with crippling debts created by a series of complex mergers and takeovers since the 1990s in which ownership of the business has passed repeatedly from one set of investors to another. Most recently, its biggest individual shareholder from 2008 to 2014 was an investment group controlled by Telefonica of Spain, also its main competitor in Brazil. Telefonica divested its interest in 2015, and instead Vivendi of France has emerged as TI's lead shareholder with almost 25% by March 2016. Vivendi's growing influence prompted the resignation of CEO Marco Patuano in 2016, succeeded eventually by verteran media executive Flavio Cattaneo. To reduce its debt, the group has steadily offloaded other interests in Latin America as well as Italian broadcaster La7 and its controlling stake in MTV Italia. Performance in the core telecom business has declining for years. In a new blow, the merger of mobile rivals Tre and Wind in 2016 pushed TIM Italia into the number #2 position during 2016, with around 35% share. Group revenues for 2015 slipped below E20bn, while the group's massive debts ballooned to E27bn. Italy accounts for around two-thirds of revenues, and Brazil for most of the rest. Adbrands no longer offers a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

Capsule checked 17th February 2016

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Apr 2017: Media tycoon Vincent Bollore, controlling shareholder in Vivendi and Havas, was ordered by regulators to reduce his stake in Italian media giant Mediaset. Bollore has accumulated a hostile stake of almost 29% in Mediaset, the investment vehicle of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, after the two men fell out over a earlier agreement. Bollore also controls the country's main phone company Telecom Italia via a 25% stake. Italian law forbids telecoms companies with more than 40% local share from also controlling more than 10% of the country's media. Mediaset has over 13% share.

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Mar 2016: Vivendi - the former owner of SFR - increased its shareholding in Telecom Italia to just under 25% and succeeded in persuading incumbent CEO Marco Patuano, who opposes Vivendi's creeping takeover of Italy's national telecoms carrier, to resign. Chairman Giuseppe Recchi will take over on an interim basis.

Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Mar 2014: Mini-network Leagas Delaney scored a major victory with consolidation of all creative duties for longtime on-off client Telecom Italia, following a protracted review which has involved more than ten different agencies around the region.

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