Telecom Italia continues network spin-off discussions
01 July 2013 | Kavit Majithia
Telecom Italia has reportedly held discussions with a Qatari funds group to sell a stake in its fixed-line business.
The Italian incumbent is apparently seeking an independent ownership structure for its regulated network, and it is already in talks with an Italian state-backed fund to sell 30% of its separated network.
The fixed-line company is reportedly valued at €13 billion and a spin-off is being touted in mind of its net debt of up to €30 billion.
According to the Financial Times, Telecom Italia has also spoken to other investors to acquire additional stakes in the fixed-line business, with the move designed to divest the physical telecoms infrastructure and invest in the development of fibre optic network in Italy.
The company’s talks with the Qatari fund are reportedly revolved around an acquisition of a minority stake in the new business, and are designed to create a more balanced ownership.
Telecom Italia has declined to comment to the speculation, but according to analysts, a separation of its fixed-line network will ease regulatory burdens and guarantee access to the fixed-line network to all operators.