Telecom Italia is putting on a brave face following the failure of its bid to acquire Brazilian broadband operator GVT.
The Italian incumbent late on Thursday said it will push ahead with its development and investment plans in Brazil, as outlined in its 2014-2016 strategic plan, "leveraging on TIM Brasil's strong position in the market."
That plan is light on details regarding Brazil though. In it, Telecom Italia reiterates that Brazil is a strategic asset that offers growth opportunities, particularly when it comes to mobile data revenues. TIM Brasil had 25.8 million mobile data users out of a total base of 74.2 million mobile customers at the end of June, Telecom Italia said, adding that its focus is on improving the telco's network infrastructure.
Acquiring GVT would have given TIM Brasil a boost, increasing its virtually non-existent presence in the fixed-line telephony, broadband and pay TV markets. But on Thursday GVT's parent company Vivendi revealed that it has entered into exclusive talks to sell GVT to rival bidder Telefonica in a deal worth €7.5 billion.
The announcement came hours after Telecom Italia tabled a €7 billion offer for the business.
The Italian operator formally noted Vivendi's decision to choose Telefonica in a short statement.
"From the start Telecom Italia has made it clear that it would take a disciplined approach to its strategy in Brazil, in order to maximise the value for all its shareholders," it added.
That comment doesn't give a lot away. Many still expect that Telecom Italia will take part in consolidation in Brazil one way or another, since TIM could struggle to compete effectively as a standalone entity.
Furthermore, a number of telcos have been linked with a possible acquisition of TIM Brasil.
Earlier this week local telco Oi announced that it has hired Banco BTG Pactual to advise it on its alternatives with regard to acquiring Telecom Italia's stake in TIM Brasil.
Meanwhile, as unlikely as it currently seems, Vodafone is reportedly interested in acquiring one of Brazil's big operators. Last week Brazilian newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported that TIM is its number one target.