Italy is pushing the telecom merger, and to break up the broadband logjam: sources

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s sovereign wealth fund, is in the maneuver to pull out of a multibillion euro, the telecom merger, and at the end of a long corporate stand-off that has been taken to the city’s plans to build a national broadband network, sources say.

FILE PICTURE: Optical fiber cables, internet service providers, will be given away at an Abb Group, a server room, in Perugia, Italy, on June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), which has a 425-billion-euro ($480 billion) in assets, is a major shareholder in two of the key building blocks of a national network, the former phone monopoly, Telecom Italia (TIM) and its newer rival, the Open Grain.

TIM is Open and Material is the property of the UNIT and the utility it Might be, rolling one of the fiber-optic networks in Italy, the market for de-duplication and wasted investment for a period of time in which Italy, as a digital laggard, need to catch up fast.

However, the bickering between TIM’s big foreign shareholders are on the broadband strategy and has, to date, obstructed the merger of the two networks, in which the UNIT is to try and break the deadlock, said sources familiar with the UNIT-think on the matter.

“COP’s plan is to go to … were in charge of the creation of the company’s internal network,” one source said.

UNIT, of which 82.8% is owned by the state and under the supervision of the ministry of finance is committed to the orchestration of a network of fusion in a manner that is likely to grow to be the TIM ‘ s second-largest shareholder. That would have the power to push through change after months and months of feuding between TIM’s current top shareholder, French media company Vivendi, and the No. 3 shareholder, U. S fund, The.

UNIT already is the owner of just under 10% of time, and to focus on “the heart of the game” in the last few weeks of the initiation of contact with TIM’s leadership, and Vivendi, the sources said.

That is, the effect of the fruit. On Thursday, TIM said it had signed an agreement with the UNIT, and it Might be to start with a conversation about the possibilities for the integration of a fiber optics network, with its arch-rival, including a possible business combination.

No definitive solution has been found, but all of the options at the bottom of the review involve the merging of time and Open the mesh-current assets equity settled share based transaction-which would be the lift UNIT, is the commitment of time that is equal to or greater than the date (s) of 23,9%, the sources said.

That could give a COP a decisive vote on the TIM’s strategy-and put it in the strongest position to create a government plan to develop a nationwide high-speed network.

It might, UNIT, date (s), and to TIM, all declined to comment.


Under the CDP’s main option, so TIM would have to buy the sovereign wealth fund’s 50% interest in the Open-plan Structure, with the help of its shares as payment, said the sources familiar with the CDP and have a banker with knowledge of the matter.

It might be, is also controlled by the state, by means of a 23.6% of the voting shares are held by the department of the treasury, to be sold from an Open filament in a separate sale to institutional investors under this scenario, they will be added to it.

“The idea is, it Might be all the cashes, and the shares may be offered to long-term investors. It is not in Enel’s core business, but, of course, it all depends on the price,” the banker said.

At this point, however, in the Italian fixed-broadband-dominated, it would be by sarah, and would be likely to fall to the fault of the competition authorities, so the UNIT-plan to a further, large contribution of private investment to be diluted in TIM’s position, the sources said.

The details are still being hammered out, but in the end, out of the assets of the two networks can be brought under one roof, outside of TIM, may Open the Fiber itself, and with TIM’s attendance, with only a minority of the sources, and the banker’s hand and said.

She said it was too early to speculate on how much private investment would be required in order to achieve this result, but it could run into the billions of euros, is based on a network and give it a try!

Telecom analysts are of very different valuations of the two networks and, as a result of the different assumptions can be made about its future growth.

Value of TIM’s assets, both fibre optics and old copper wires, on a 10-15 billion euro ($11-$17 billion), and is Open to Fiber and only fiber optic network in the 2 to 8 million.

A uniform and controlled high-speed network, it can be an attractive proposition for private investors, offering a stable and predictable income.


It might be, has a right of first refusal on UNIT’s participation in the Open-Fibre, and can, in theory, completed UNIT plans, through the exercise of the same. In practice, however, it Might be, it will be linked to the city’s plans, said another source familiar with the matter.

“(With Enel’s CEO, Francesco) Starace, has regular discussions with the FIRST, but it’s obvious that he’s waiting for TIM’s first visit to his house in order before making any decision,” a source said.

The government has the ability to replace Starace at the beginning of next year, when he comes up for re-election.

There, and date (s), are locked in an ancient battle for the council to check on TIM, who had recently come together to try to solve their governance differ, as one person close to the matter said.

Analysts are saying that it is just a neutral network, where the TIM would not have an incentive to limit competition from rival services, and has the best chance of delivering the service and prices are needed in order to encourage more Italians to go digital.

By 2017, Italy had the lowest use of the internet in western Europe, next to Greece, an issue that is a barrier to the development of the digital economy deserves to be a G7 economy with a population of around 60 million people.

“The number of people in Italy who are interested in fast broadband services, it is not very high, so a lot will depend on the price. A single network was able to nudge the prices up, so that the regulator’s role is crucial,” said Michele Polo, an expert in antitrust and regulatory issues at Milan’s Bocconi university.

“The risk of time, with its dominant market position there,” said Polo, however, he added that strong regulation would be able to fix it.

In italy, telecom, it and broadcasting channel-based businesses have never been in the face of competition from cable TV, which is the basis of the speed-up and the prices will go down somewhere else.

The separation of the fixed networks and it is considered to be one of the very few ways in which legacy telecom providers and new value creation for our shareholders. Morgan Stanley analysts have described the infrastructure as “the world’s most dynamic sub-sector, in telecommunication, in a note on Friday.

Altice is considering a sale of the Portuguese fibre optic network, while denmark’s TDC and O2 in the Czech Republic, and has already led to a spin-off of its networks.

One of the other Bocconi expert, Carlo Alberto Cardinal Maffè of the SDA Bocconi School of Management, said that if the plan was to re-nationalize the TIM and let it be with the actual power of a national high-speed network, it won’t work.

“I don’t think it’s in the COP’s interest. It would be TIM’s 20 years old and it would be a mistake. Italian and European regulators would never allow that,” Maffè said.

Additional reporting by Gianluca Semeraro in Milan and Gwenaelle Barzic in Paris; Editing by Mark Potter

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