EU to approve Macquarie and CDP Open Fiber deal

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Italian investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Australian private investment company Macquarie are rumoured to secure approval for its Open Fiber deal.

According to Reuters, sources confirm that billion-dollar deal will see CDP and Macquarie receive 'unconditional EU antitrust approval' for its acquisition of Open Fiber. The company was set up to build an independent fibre-optic access network across Italy.

At present, Open Fiber is jointly owned by state-owned Enel and CDP, once the acquisition is completed Macquarie Asset Management will own a 40% equity stake in Open Fiber agreed for approximately €2.12 billion ($2.5 billion), while CDP will own the remaining 60%.

The regulatory approval is set to bolster the fledging plans to merge Open Fiber with Telecom Italia's (TIM) network. Also, with CDP as TIM's second-biggest shareholder behind that of Vivendi, any potential merger between the two would be further complicated.

Capacity reported on this potential stall in negotiations in May of this year, led in part by former Vodafone chief Vittorio Colao, who wants to retain competition.

No official comment has been given from the European Commission, Enel, Macquarie and CDP.