Telecom Italia (TI) has officially announced its intention to sell up to 40 per cent of its wireless tower unit through an IPO in Milan.
TI’s fully owned subsidiary, Infrastrutture Wireless Italiane (INWIT), has been rumoured to be up for sale since late last year, and operates approximately 11,500 towers in Italy.
Earlier this month, CEO Marco Patuano revealed TI will be a “key player” in consolidating tower assets in Italy. Bloomberg claims the company is now seeking to raise approximately $818 million from the IPO.
INWIT generates revenues by leasing capacity and services from wireless tower infrastructure to mobile players in the country, and TI’s move follows a similar trend across the sector of tier one telecom operators deciding to lease or sell their legacy fixed tower infrastructure.
TI now needs to gain approval for the IPO from the country’s telecoms regulator, with the process still “ongoing”, TI said in a statement.
Bloomberg first reported last November that TI was considering an IPO of the tower business, after the company revealed plans to sell assets in Italy and Brazil to improve its debt load.
Last year, the company completed a $900 million deal with American Tower to divest 6,481 towers owned by TIM Participacoes, TI’s majority-owned mobile operator in Brazil.