BT Group has increased its stake in the Italian GSM network, Blu, a company that it is actually trying to escape from. BT now has a 29% interest in Blu, as a result of the $95 million it paid for Mediaset’s 9% stake in the company.
Mediaset had an option to force BT to buy its 9% stake in the company. BT is now Blu’s second largest shareholder behind Autostrade, which holds 32% of the company.
All of Blu’s major shareholders have expressed their desire to divest their holdings in the company following its well publicized failure to secure a 3G license last year. Neither Telefonica nor Hutchison 3G, who hold 3G licenses in Italy, but do not own an existing GSM network, has expressed public interest in acquiring the company.