Tele­com Italia plans to sell 70% stake in Per­sidera

The Gulf Today - Business - - INTERNATIONAL -

MI­LAN: Tele­com Italia could pick US fund I Squared Cap­i­tal as pre­ferred bid­der could pick US fund I Squared Cap­i­tal as pre­ferred bid­der in the sale of its stake in broad­cast­ing unit Per­sidera at a board meeting on Tues­day, three sources fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter said.

Tele­com Italia (TIM), whose top share­holder is France’s Vivendi, is look­ing to sell a se­ries of non-core as­sets, in­clud­ing its 70 per cent stake in Per­sidera, to cut debt and fund the roll­out of an ul­tra­fast broad­band net­work.

The for­mer tele­coms mo­nop­o­list bid 2.4 bil­lion eu­ros ($2.73 bil­lion) for air­waves in Italy’s re­cent fifth­gen­er­a­tion mo­bile auc­tion and needs to find 480 mil­lion eu­ros of that al­ready this year.

“Tele­com is lean­ing to­wards giv­ing I Squared an ex­clu­sive,” one of the sources said.

TIM and pub­lisher GEDI, which owns the re­main­ing 30 per cent, have re­ceived two of­fers for Per­sidera. In­fra­struc­ture fund I Squared Cap­i­tal has made an of­fer for the whole of the com­pany while Ital­ian tow­ers group Rai Way has only bid for its net­work in­fra­struc­ture and re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

Rai Way’s of­fer ex­cludes Per­sidera’s five mul­ti­plexes - bun­dles of digi­tised TV ser­vices - be­cause it al­ready has five of its own and an­titrust reg­u­la­tions pre­vent it from own­ing more, a source pre­vi­ously said.

The sources de­clined to com­ment on press re­ports say­ing I Squared had of­fered just un­der 240 mil­lion eu­ros for the busi­ness while the Rai Way of­fer val­ued the com­pany at around 300 mil­lion eu­ros.

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