Telecom Italia plans to sell 70% stake in Persidera
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.