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Telecom Italia will not become French, won't merge with Orange - Vivendi CEO to paper

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Telecom Italia will not become French, won't merge with Orange - Vivendi CEO to paper

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MILAN (Reuters) – Top shareholder Vivendi <VIV.PA> has no plans to merge Telecom Italia <TLIT.MI> with Orange <ORAN.PA> nor to make it French, Chief Executive Arnaud de Puyfontaine told newspaper La Stampa in an interview published on Saturday. Telecom Italia (TIM) named Vivendi’s Amos Genish as its general manager for operations on Friday as the French media giant tightened its grip on Italy’s biggest phone group, where it is the largest shareholder with a 24 percent stake. “TIM will never be French: it is and will remain an Italian company,” de Puyfontaine, who also serves as TIM’s executive chairman, told the newspaper. “A merger with Orange? I want to be clear: it will not happen. Telecom Italia will be a consolidator, not the prey.”

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Jason Neely)
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