Swisscom confirmed it entered into exclusive talks to buy Vodafone Italy in an-all cash deal valued at €8B as part of a plan to combine it with Fastweb, its subsidiary in the country.

The proposed deal came after Vodafone spurned an attempt by Iliad Group in January to form a joint venture that would have combined the companies’ respective operations in the country.  

Reuters reported the planned merger of Vodafone Italia and Fastweb will result in the second-largest fixed-line broadband operator in Italy behind TIM.

Swisscom explained the deal will bring together complementary mobile and fixed infrastructures, competencies, and capabilities “to create a leading converged challenger”.

Vodafone stated it has engaged extensively with several parties to explore market consolidation in Italy but believes the proposed Swisscom deal delivered the “best combination of value creation, upfront cash proceeds and transaction certainty” for its shareholders.

Vodafone’s business in Italy has been part of a group-wide strategic review by CEO Margherita Della Valle.

Della Valle took part in a MWC24 Barcelona keynote earlier this week with other European CEOs who collectively called for regulation to be eased or improved in areas such as spectrum allocation and in-market consolidation.