Telecom Italia could spin off fixed-line network

Telecom Italia could spin off fixed-line network

Telecom Italia could spin-off its fixed-line network in an effort to merge its wireless unit with Hutchison Whampoa, according to reports.

Local reports indicate the Italian operator has appointed a panel of directors to investigate possibilities of floating its fixed-line network on the stock market.

Italian politicians are said to be uneasy with the Hong Kong-based company buying into fixed-line assets which are deemed to be valuable to national infrastructure.

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, an Italian fund which is majority owned by the government, is reportedly touted to be interesting in acquiring a stake in the fixed-line network, if a tie up with Hutchison is possible.

Hutchison is said to favour taking a 29.9% stake in the mobile unit and avoid political opposition to the deal.

The Italian operator is expected to have reached a decision on whether to pursue the deal by its next scheduled board meeting on May 8.

Telecom Italia declined to comment.

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