Swisscom lines up purchase of Vodafone Italy for €8bn


Vodafone has today confirmed that the deal has been agreed, with the companies waiting to sign the relevant paperwork

While the majority of the telecoms world has its eyes set on Mobile World Congress this week, in the world beyond the Fira the wheels of M&A continue to turn.

Today, Vodafone has confirmed that it has agreed to sell its Italian unit to Switzerland’s Swisscom for €8 billion.

“Vodafone has engaged extensively with several parties to explore market consolidation in Italy and believes this potential transaction delivers the best combination of value creation, upfront cash proceeds and transaction certainty for Vodafone shareholders,” said Vodafone in a press release seemingly in response to media speculation.

Vodafone’s new CEO Margherita Della Valle has been seeking to offload the Italian unit as part of a Group wide simplification plan. Initially, it had seemed that Xavier Niel’s Iliad would merge its local unit with Vodafone’s, but these discussions fell through in January, leaving Vodafone in search of a different suitor.

For Swisscom now says it will merge Vodafone Italy with its own Italian unit, Fastweb.

Fastweb itself is primarily a fibre network operator but has had growing ambitions in the mobile space for a number of years now. In 2019, Fastweb won 5G spectrum at auction making it the country’s fifth mobile network operator.

The scale of the company’s mobile network, however, remains relatively small – far smaller than Iliad Italia’s – a fact that will likely see this new deal face far less regulatory scrutiny than the previously proposed merger.

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