Our website publishes news, press releases, opinion and advertorials on various financial organizations, products and services which are commissioned from various Companies, Organizations, PR agencies, Bloggers etc. These commissioned articles are commercial in nature. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. It does not reflect the views or opinion of our website and is not to be considered an endorsement or a recommendation. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third-party websites, affiliate sales networks, and to our advertising partners websites. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish advertised or sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a commercial article placement. We will not be responsible for any loss you may suffer as a result of any omission or inaccuracy on the website.

Italy seeks fresh options for TIM as bid for network seen fading

by Staff GBAF Publications Ltd
0 comment

By Elvira Pollina and Giuseppe Fonte

MILAN/ROME (Reuters) -Italy’s new government will likely need to seek fresh options for ailing former phone monopoly Telecom Italia, as a planned bid for its landline grid by state lender CDP appears increasingly unlikely.

Championed by the previous government of Mario Draghi, the multi-billion-euro bid is part of a broader project to combine TIM’s network assets with those of smaller rival Open Fiber to create a unified broadband champion under CDP’s control.

Due by this Wednesday, Nov. 30, an offer would also be central to TIM CEO Pietro Labriola’s plan to break up the struggling phone group to cut its 25 billion euro ($26 billion) debt.

But Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni favours putting CDP’s bid on hold, a government source told Reuters on Monday.

Three separate sources had previously said CDP was unlikely to meet Wednesday’s deadline, with a fourth source saying CDP had not scheduled a board meeting yet to approve an offer.

Meloni’s office and the Treasury did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Marking a break with the past, Meloni on Friday entrusted the government’s broadband strategy to cabinet undersecretary Alessio Butti, who has openly criticised CDP’s plans for TIM.

Butti has called instead on Treasury-owned CDP to take over cash-bleeding TIM in full to then sell its service operations, including its Brazil-listed unit.

Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti last week said Butti’s plans required extensive discussions within the government, which had “several options” to secure control of TIM’s network.

Analysts say coming up with a new plan to combine TIM and Open Fiber would require at least a year, leaving TIM’s fate in doubt at a time when rising rates increase the drain on the group’s cash flow from interest payments.

“The timing to find a path starts to narrow considering that TIM’s available liquidity covers debt maturities until mid-2024 and debt refinancing looks tougher than in the past.” Intesa Sanpaolo wrote in a research note.

($1 = 0.9549 euros)

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Giuseppe Fonte; writing by Valentina Za;Editing by Keith Weir)