Telecom Italia could spin off fixed-line network
29 April 2013 | Mitch Sayers
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.