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One bidder now in contention for La7

Telecom Italia has said it is in exclusive negotiations with Italian media firm Cairo Communications over the sale of its free-to-air station La7.

The telco has rejected an approach from luxury goods tycoon Diego Della Valle and a bid from Clessidra, the finance house that, with Mediaset, made a move for Endemol last year.

Cairo is run by Urbano Cairo, a former associate of Italian media magnate and politician Silvio Berlusconi. It as advertising and publishing interests in Italy.

Telecom Italia is seeking to pay down debt and said in a statement: “The Telecom Italia Board of Directors, chaired by Franco Bernabè, having examined the bids received in relation to the disposal of the Media businesses, today agreed to initiate exclusive negotiations with Cairo Communication for the sale of the entire stake in La7.”

The Cairo deal if finalised would exclude the 51% stake La7 owns in the free-to-air Italian MTV channel.