(Corrects second paragraph to read “does not want to go (to the Sept. 19 board meeting) empty-handed” ... instead of “does not want to leave empty-handed”)
MADRID, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Telefonica is studying an offer to help fellow investors in Telecom Italia sell their stakes in the Italian firm in a way that would not result in more debt for the Spanish telecoms company, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.
“Telefonica does not want to go (to the Sept. 19 board meeting) empty-handed, but the challenge is finding a solution that offers liquidity to Telco stakeholders without increasing Telefonica’s debt,” the source said, without elaborating on what specific format the solution might take.
Telefonica has an indirect 10.5 percent stake in Telecom Italia through its 46 percent share of holding company Telco, formed with Italian investors Mediobanca, Intesa Sanpaolo and Generali.
Those investors are now prepared to sell their shares when they get their first opportunity to leave the shareholder pact on Sept. 28, according to sources. (Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Clare Kane; Editing by Elisabeth O‘Leary)