Telecom Italia shareholders on Saturday failed to support its chief executive's plan which would have effectively blocked the proposed hostile takeover of Italy's largest telco by Olivetti.
The operator is now believed to be considering finding a strategic partner to defend the $65 million attack,, with BT and Deutsche Telekom among the potential suitors, according to reports.
TI's chief executive Franco Bernabe needed the approval of 30 per cent of shareholders for the plan, and expected a 35 per cent turnout but less than 23 per cent of shareholders showed up for the meeting in Turin.
The plan included converting non voting shares into ordinary stock, a buyback of 10 per cent of TI's shares, and a $24 billion purchase of the 40 per cent stake in Telecom Italia Mobile that TI does not already own.
Despite the set back, Bernabe vowed to continue fighting the hostile bid. A white knight bid from a foreign operator could defeat the relatively small Olivetti, but would likely meet resistance from TI's golden shareholder - the Italian government.
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