Retelit ‘looking for Italian acquisitions’, says CEO

Retelit ‘looking for Italian acquisitions’, says CEO

Italian carrier Retelit is talking to potential short-term acquisitions in its home market, and is also looking for ways to expand in Hong Kong and Singapore in the medium-term.

But CEO Federico Protto told Capacity that Retelit recognises it could be an acquisition target itself. “We can be a very attractive target for international companies that need to have a network in Italy,” he said.

Protto was talking to Capacity just 10 days after shareholders backed him for a further three-year term at the head of the company, rejecting moves by an activist investor to put a team including former Sparkle CEO Alessandro Talotta in charge.

In the past three years Protto and his colleagues have increased sales by 50% and turned a loss in 2014 to a healthy profit in 2017. “It was a significant turnaround,” he said. “Now the situation is healthier, what are we going to do with this money?” He wants to increase sales another 50% by 2022.

Retelit is looking for niche acquisitions, including municipally owned cable companies and “companies with a good competitive infrastructure base”. He is “already talking to several companies”, he said.

Outside Italy, Retelit has a partnership with BICS to go to destinations such as Frankfurt and London, but he is considering Asian expansion “through acquisition or partnerships – and a partnership is most likely”.

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