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Telecom Italia seen planning to bid up to 7 billion euros for GVT: report

MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia is preparing to offer up to 7 billion euros ($9.4 billion) to outbid Spain's Telefonica in the race to acquire Vivendi's Brazilian broadband unit GVT, according to a Bloomberg report on Sunday.

The report, citing anonymous people with knowledge of the plan, said Vivendi would get a 20 percent holding in Milan-based Telecom Italia and a stake in the entity that combines the two companies' Brazilian units.

Neither Telecom Italia or Vivendi were immediately available for comment.

Sources told Reuters earlier this month that Telecom Italia is in talks with Vivendi over a possible bid for GVT as it seeks to head off a 6.7 billion euro bid from Telefonica.

The Spanish company, which made its unsolicited offer for GVT earlier this month, is Telecom Italia's biggest single investor and competes with the Italian company in Brazil's phone market.

Telecom Italia confirmed on Thursday it was studying a bid that would result in an "industrial combination" between GVT and its own Brazilian unit, Tim Brasil.

It said it had not made a final offer, which would be subject to approval by the boards of both Telecom Italia and its Brazilian unit.

Telecom Italia Chief Executive Officer Marco Patuano met Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bollore on Wednesday to discuss the potential tie-up, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

Telecom Italia is proposing to merge TIM Brasil with GVT, and in exchange Vivendi would take a stake in the Italian group, the sources said. It could submit its offer to Vivendi by the end of the month. ($1 = 0.7464 Euros)

(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi)

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