Telecom Italia announced it has completed a move to sell a major stake in tower unit Inwit to a consortium led by French private equity company Ardian, a deal first announced in June this year.

In a statement, Telecom Italia confirmed the agreement, which will see the consortium of institutional investors acquire a 49 per cent stake in Daphne 3, a newly established holding company, to which the operator has transferred a 30.2 per cent stake of Inwit.

Inwit, a joint venture of Vodafone Group and Telecom Italia, will still be controlled and managed by the operators.

Telecom Italia moved to offload its stake in Inwit earlier this year, first opening talks with Ardian in May before an agreement was reached in June.

It will net €1.35 billion from the deal, which it will use to reduce a debt load which stood at €21.7 billion at the end of March.

In its statement, Telecom Italia said the deal did not entail any mandatory takeover.

Telecom Italia also completed a separate deal to sell 1.2 per cent in Inwit to an investment vehicle managed by Canson Capital Partners, which was also first announced in June.

The group has the option to purchase the remaining 1.8 per cent of Inwit owned directly by Telecom Italia for €161 million.