BlackRock responds to Telecom Italia on shareholder issue
Telecom Italia had said it did not receive any information from BlackRock regarding an increase in its stake in the Italian telecoms group to 10.14%, as suggested by US regulatory filings.
A stake of 10.1% would make BlackRock the second biggest shareholder in Telecom Italia after holding company Telco, and give it a potentially key role at a shareholder vote on 20 December on the future of the company.
In a note responding to Telecom Italia and Italian securities market regulator Consob, BlackRock said: “The aggregate number and percentage of Telecom ordinary shares held at December 15th 2013 […] are the following: Total voting shares: 1,044,240,827 which is equal to 7.783% of the total issued share capital (“ISC”); Total American Depositary Receipts (“ADRs”): 80,618 ADRs, converting 10:1, giving rights to 806,180 shares, which is 0.006% of total ISC; Total equity including ADRs: 1,045,047,007 equity votes, which is equal to 7.789% of the total ISC.”
BlackRock also specified in the note that it did not notify Telecom and Consob of the crossing of a 10% threshold under article 120 of the Consolidated Law on Finance as “it did not and does not hold neither sufficient voting shares nor an overall long position which would require such a filing.”
Consob head Giuseppe Vegas told Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore that it had asked the US group to make a statement on the size of its holding ahead of the Italian market opening on Monday and on what its intentions were at the shareholder meeting.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that BlackRock was still in compliance with Italian law, as its stake only exceeds 10% if Telecom Italia convertible bonds the investor bought were included, and such bonds do not count as equity holdings outside the United States.