TIM CEO confident on network merger talks - Mobile World Live

TIM CEO confident on network merger talks

05 MAY 2022

Telecom Italia looked to be closer to fending off a takeover bid by KKR, with CEO Pietro Labriola (pictured) telling Reuters the operator could seal a long-mooted deal to merge its fixed network with state-backed Open Fiber in a matter of days.

During a press conference to discuss Telecom Italia’s Q1 earnings, Labriola reported said all parties involved in the fixed line businesses were keen to agree a deal, despite some delays.

Labriola indicated US investor KKR, which owns 37.5 per cent of Telecom Italia’s FiberCop fixed-line business, and Open Fiber shareholder Macquarie Asset Management are involved in the talks.

Telecom Italia kicked off the network merger discussions with state lender CDP last month, reviving a long-standing plan to create a single fibre network company in Italy.

It was speculated the move could form part of a Telecom Italia plan to reject a €10.8 billion non-binding takeover offer made by KKR in November 2021.

During the press briefing, Telecom Italia also indicated a reorganisation to separate into two units by splitting infrastructure assets from services operations will be unveiled at its capital market day on 7 July.

Earnings
Telecom Italia reported a net loss of €204 million in the recent quarter compared with a €228 million loss in Q1 2021.

Domestic sales fell 7.7 per cent to €2.8 billion total group service revenue decreased 2.5 per cent to €3.4 billion.

Telecom Italia stated that mobile subscribers were broadly unchanged at 30.4 million, or 18.8 million excluding machine-to-machine connections. It added its 5G network had reached 66 municipalities.

A recent market update by Italian regulator Agcom for the year to 31 December 2021 showed CK Hutchison-owned WindTre had a 26.5 per cent share of the domestic mobile market excluding M2M; Telecom Italia 25.5 per cent; Vodafone Italia 23.1 per cent; and Iliad Italia close to 11 per cent.

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Anne Morris

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist and contributes news and analysis to Mobile World Live.

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