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Hutchison says in talks with VimpelCom on Italian mobile merger
May 14, 2015 / 12:41 AM / 3 years ago

Hutchison says in talks with VimpelCom on Italian mobile merger

HONG KONG, May 14 (Reuters) - Conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing, confirmed on Thursday it is in talks with Russian telecoms group VimpelCom Ltd 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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