Macquarie makes firm €2.65bn offer for Enel’s Open Fiber st

Macquarie makes firm €2.65bn offer for Enel’s Open Fiber stake

18 September 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Australian bank Macquarie has made a binding €2.65 billion offer for Enel’s 50% stake in Open Fiber, the Italian wholesale fibre company.

Macquarie first indicated its interest in Open Fiber back in June, when it made a non-binding offer.

Last night’s move is the next stage in a reorganisation of the whole of Italy’s fibre infrastructure. It follows the creation of FiberCop from a merger of FlashFiber, the fibre network owned by TIM – the former Telecom Italia – and Fastweb, owned by Swisscom.

Eventually FiberCop, which has €1.8 billion of external investment from private equity company KKR, will merge into Open Fiber.

Enel, Italy’s state-controlled electricity company, said last night that its board of directors had received notice of a binding offer by Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets (MIRA) for the acquisition of the 50% stake held by Enel in Open Fiber.

The offer is net of debt. Enel’s board said it “acknowledged that it received the notice and is awaiting updates on the details that may emerge following the required in-depth activities with MIRA on the content of the offer”.

The move implies that a resulting unified Italian wholesale fibre company will have substantial investments from both KKR and Macquarie, as well as state investment company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), which owns the other 50% of Open Fiber and is also a shareholder in TIM. 

The deal three weeks ago gave FiberCop an enterprise value of €7.7 billion, though an equity value of €4.7 billion. Yesterday’s bid from Macquarie values Open Fiber remarkably similarly, at around €7.3 billion, taking debt into account. Added together, Open FiberCop or whatever the resulting company is called, will be worth €15 billion.

Macquarie is also a member of the consortium that is bidding $2.15 billion for the infrastructure division of GTT, which includes the former Interoute and Hibernia Networks.