MILAN, Dec 7 (Reuters) - U.S. investment bank JP Morgan has built up a long position equivalent to a 10.134 percent stake in Telecom Italia, a filing by Italian market watchdog Consob showed on Monday.
News of the investment comes amid a shake-up in Telecom Italia’s shareholder base after French entrepreneur Xavier Niel, founder of low-cost telecoms group Iliad, bought options at the end of October allowing him to buy a 15.1 percent stake in the Italian group.
That would make him Telecom Italia’s second biggest shareholder, behind French group Vivendi, which has gradually built up a 20.1 percent stake in the company.
Consob said that JP Morgan’s position included a previously disclosed, actual stake of 4.515 percent. The rest is held through call options that can be exercised at different dates up to July 7, 2017 and other contracts, Consob said without giving details.
The position was held as of Nov. 26, when tighter disclosure rules about stakes held in listed Italian companies came into force.
The Italian press has speculated that the U.S. bank could have acted as a counterpart to Niel in his investment.
JP Morgan declined to comment.
Telecom Italia is due to hold a shareholder meeting on Dec. 15 to vote on a proposal by Vivendi to appoint four Vivendi representatives to the Telecom Italia board. (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Susan Fenton)