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Hutchison says in talks with VimpelCom on Italian mobile merger
May 14, 2015 / 12:43 AM / 2 years ago

Hutchison says in talks with VimpelCom on Italian mobile merger

The logo of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd is displayed at one of the company's office towers in Hong Kong August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd 0013.HK, controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing, confirmed on Thursday it is in talks with Russian telecoms group VimpelCom Ltd VIP.O about a possible merger of their Italian mobile businesses.

Hutchison said is in “exploratory negotiations” about a merger of Hutchison’s 3 Italia S.p.A. and VimpelCom’s WIND Telecomunicazioni S.p.A. in Italy into an equal joint venture.

Vimpelcom Chief Executive Jean-Yves Charlier said on Wednesday that the two companies were holding talks about an Italian mobile deal.

A deal would combine Wind, Italy’s third-largest mobile network operator, with fourth-placed 3 Italia and cut the number of competing operators to three, as has already happened in Germany, Austria and Ireland, reducing competitive pressures and helping end a long price war.

The transaction remains subject to signing of agreements, achieving satisfactory debt levels and obtaining all required corporate and regulatory approvals, Hutchison said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Richard Pullin

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