FRANKFURT, April 9 (Reuters) - Hutchison Whampoa is in talks to buy up to 29.9 percent of Telecom Italia , although discussions are at an 'embryonic stage' and it may take months to strike a deal, a source familiar with the negotiations said on Tuesday.
Hutchison Whampoa could swap its Italian mobile operator 3 Italia for some Telecom Italia capital and then buy more Telecom Italia shares from a group of Italian shareholders in investor holding company Telco, the source said.
Hutchison Whampoa may also buy shares held by other investors, the source said, adding it was unclear whether Telefonica - which is also part of Telco - wants to sell its shares.
Hutchison Whampoa, Telecom Italia and Telefonica were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Arno Schuetze; additional reporting by Donny Kwok and Lisa Jucca; editing by Jane Barrett)