TIM and Vodafone appoint advisors in Italian tower sale

TIM and Vodafone appoint advisors in Italian tower sale

13 December 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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Telecom Italia (TIM) and Vodafone are due to begin a sale of their stake in their Italian tower business over the coming days.

According to Reuters, two sources confirmed that Vodafone has selected UBS while TIM has selected Banca IMI, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The news follows a announcement made in July where both companies agreed to come together to form Inwit, Italy’s biggest tower company and the second largest in Europe. TIM and Vodafone agreed to fold all their existing tower assets into this soon to be formed company.

Valued at approximately $11 billion, Inwit is currently awaiting approval from the European Union and is due to complete in Q1 of 2020.

Once finalised, TIM and Vodafone will have joint control of the new entity with a stake of 37.5% each, with the option of reducing the stakes down to 25% after a three-year lock-up agreement ends.

The news comes as other major European telcos look to sell or consolidate its tower assets. At the start of the month, Orange was reportedly in the process of selling its telecoms towers for $250 million. The sales process is reportedly in the mature stage of development with American Tower and Cellnex more likely to agree a deal. Additionally, as part of its new company strategy, Telefónica announced the creation of Telefónica Infra, a new unit that will encompass the company’s existing stakes in telecommunications infrastructure vehicles. It will develop towers, distributed antenna systems, data centres (including Edge), greenfield fibre projects and subsea cables.