Published On: Fri, Oct 30th, 2015

Xavier Niel Buys Telecom Italia Options

Xavier Niel

 

French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel, the founder of the mobile operator Iliad, has increased his holding in Telecom Italia to 15.143 per cent voting stake, Reuter reports.

The stake is held through call option contracts and other positions, the regulator said in the filing on Friday, a day after it emerged that Niel had a position equivalent to 11.2 percent of the Italian company.

Niel’s investment makes him the second-largest shareholder in Telecom Italia behind Vincent Bollore’s Vivendi.

FT report that this move is setting up a potential battle between the tow billionaires, since it comes just weeks after Vivandi media media group said it intended to become Telecom Italia’s biggest investor and increased its shareholding from 14.9 percent to 20 percent stake.

Xavier Niel’s Iliad and Vivendi has an history. They become direct rival in 2012 when Iliad came to the market with spacial low-cost offers and forced SFR, Vivandi’s mobile unit to lower offers.

In 2014 Jewish Billionaire Patrick Drahi, founder of Altice, acquired mobile segment SFR and Numbericable  from Vivandi.(SEE HISTORY OF THE DEAL DOWN BELOW).

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