TI gearing up for Italian towers IPO — report – Mobile World Live

TI gearing up for Italian towers IPO — report

28 NOV 2014

Telecom Italia (TI) is considering an IPO of its towers business in Italy and is looking to current Telecom Argentina CEO Oscar Cicchetti to lead the process, according to Bloomberg.

Sources said the company is considering Elisabetta Ripa, its current international wholesale and retail business chief, as a replacement for Cicchetti, who became Telecom Argentina CEO in January.

Cicchetti would then be brought in to oversee an IPO, or even sale, of TI’s telecoms towers in its home country.

TI revealed plans to sell assets in Italy and Brazil as a way to reduce its debt around a year ago. At the end of September this year, TI’s adjusted net debt stood at more than $33 billion.

Last week it announced a €900 million deal with American Tower in which the specialist player acquired 6,481 towers owned by TIM Participacoes, TI’s majority-owned mobile operator in Brazil.

TI is still trying to complete the $960 million sale of a stake in Telecom Argentina to investment firm Fintech Group. The deadline for the deal to be completed has been extended several times due to regulatory delays.

TI recently extended the deadline for the completion of the deal by two and a half years with Fintech paying $215.7 million by the end of October to secure a 17 per cent minority interest in Telecom Argentina’s holding company Sofora.

The Italian incumbent is mulling options to combine TIM with integrated operator Oi, as it looks to add fixed services to its arsenal in the Latin American market.

TI tried to add a fixed business to TIM with a bid for GVT earlier this year, but lost out as GVT’s owner Vivendi preferred a rival bid from Telefonica.

It was previously reported that TIM was a target for a joint bid from Oi, Telefonica and America Movil, although Oi recently denied this was the case.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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