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Naguib Sawiris-backed Accelero Capital makes Telecom Italia stake bid

14 Nov 2012

The private equity firm founded by Egyptian telecoms billionaire Naguib Sawiris had made an offer for a stake in Italy’s biggest telecoms group, Telecom Italia.

Sawiris confirmed the bid had been made through Accelero Capital to the Financial Times, but said reports of a €5bn offer were inflated.

The firm was launched by Sawiris in June this year to back investments in underperforming European telecoms businesses.

He told the FT that he had suggested the Telecom Italia board launch a rights issue which he would underwrite through Accelero, in return for the company taking on a strategy of paying down debt and expanding in Latin America.

He said, “We believe Telecom Italia needs a capital contribution to decrease debt and expand in Latin America through acquisition, as well as a realignment of the management.

“If they want shareholders to be happy and what’s best for the company they should jump at this offer.”

Accelero’s focus spans all segements of the telecommunications industry, from mobile and fixed networks through to data centres, the cloud and digital media.

Italian private equity firm Clessidra is currently attempting to buy Telecom Italia’s TV subsidiary Telecom Italia Media.

Hutchison Whampoa’s Italian telecom operator 3, which is also bidding for the business, had asked for a postponement for offers until November 30.

Clessidra, 3, US TV group Discovery Communications and advertising company Cairo Communications had all previously made non-binding offers.

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