Hutchison losing patience over Telecom Italia tie-up

Hutchison losing patience over Telecom Italia tie-up

03 JUL 2013

Hutchison Whampoa is reportedly losing patience with Telecom Italia, due to the lack of progress being made in a proposed deal to merge their Italian mobile units.

According to Reuters, while the board of the Italian incumbent is set to meet this week to discuss a deal, it may not take “material steps” due to a focus on a separate deal to spin-out its fixed line business.

The fixed line separation had been seen as important in paving the way for the mobile merger, as it would ease political concern about a national asset coming under significant overseas influence.

It has been suggested that this split could take more than a year, with Reuters noting that regulators in Italy and Brussels need to agree terms for rival operators to access the network, which would still be part-owned by TI.

But the complexity of this seems to have muted enthusiasm for a mobile tie-up with Hutchison, which would have seen the Hong Kong-based conglomerate’s 3 Italy arm merged with the mobile unit of TI.

While TI had set up a special committee to “verify within a short time” if a deal with Hutchison is an option, Reuters reported early last month that there was a lack of momentum.

After buying out some minority shareholders, Hutchison is likely to own around 30 per cent of TI – making it the largest single owner.

Reuters also reiterated that some existing Telecom Italia investors, such as Telefonica, have not committed to the TI deal.


Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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