KKR in discussions with Abu Dhabi sovereign fund to invest in FiberCop
American global investment company KKR is reportedly in talks with Abu Dhabi’s largest sovereign fund to sell a share of its stake in TIM’s new FiberCop.
According to Reuters, sources close to the matter have said that the rumoured negotiations from the Italian government because although it welcomes foreign investment, it usually requires that certain national assurances are met. As such, the government has unique powers to block any deals in industries considered of strategic importance.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Italian operators were coming together to create a single fibre to the home (FTTH) network, to be followed by a later merger to create a national wholesale-only fibre network.
The new entity FiberCop brings together FlashFiber, the fibre network owned by TIM and Fastweb, owned by Swisscom, with KKR taking a €1.8 billion, 37.5% stake in FiberCop. While Fastweb will own 4.5% of FiberCop and TIM will own 58%.
The second stage of the giant merger will see Tiscali’s services added to the FiberCop and lastly the creation of a single company to run a national fibre network, which will later be merged with the local fibre network.
Following on from this previous announcement, KKR now wants to sell up to 30% of the soon to be formed FiberCop to Infinity Investments, a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), as sources claim the company looks for co-investor in the new business.
The unnamed source adds that the country’s technical board in charge of assessing foreign investments in strategic assets will hear TIM’s thoughts on the deal some time this month
At the same time, it was reported that Australian private fund Macquarie is also weighing its options to syndicate the purchase of a minority stake in Open Fiber from Enel.