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Enel completes €2.73bn sale of stake in Italy’s Open Fiber

Open Fiber sign.jpg

Italian electricity group Enel has completed the sale of its 50% stake in Italian wholesale operator Open Fiber for €2.73 billion.

The deal leaves state investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) with a controlling 60% of Open Fiber. Australian private investment company Macquarie – which took most of Enel’s stake in Friday’s transaction – will have the remaining 40%.

Nathan Luckey, a senior managing director at Macquarie Asset Management, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this important milestone, but there is a lot of important work ahead of us if we are to deliver on Open Fiber’s ambitious full-fibre rollout plan.”

The transaction – first planned in December 2020 – comes as the future of TIM, the former Telecom Italia, is also in flux. According to a report today, CDP is working with TIM’s largest shareholder, Vivendi, following private equity group KKR’s €10.8 billion bid. The original price was €2.65 billion.

Enel said it received €2.73 billion for its 50% stake in Open Fiber, with 40% of the share capital going to Macquarie Asset Management €2.2 billion. CDP Equity is taking 10% of the Open Fiber share capital for €534 million.

Enel CEO Francesco Starace said: “Thanks to Open Fiber, its management and all our colleagues, we have provided the country with around 64,000km of very high-speed FTTH [fibre-to-the-home] fibre optic infrastructure, an outcome that, just over six years ago, few would have imagined.”

Luckey said: “We believe everyone deserves fast and reliable broadband, whether you live in a big city or a rural area. That is why we look forward to working in collaboration with our partner CDP Equity to ensure Open Fiber has access to the expertise and resources it needs to deliver on its plan. This is an exciting challenge and opportunity, and we are committed to delivering the high-quality digital infrastructure that all Italian households and businesses deserve.”