Swisscom to acquire Vodafone Italia for €8bn 


The move is the latest step towards Vodafone’s “reshaped European footprint” 

Swisscom has announced a binding deal to acquire Vodafone’s Italian business unit for €8 billion (£6.8bn). 

After the deal’s completion, Swisscom will merge Vodafone’s Italian unit with Fastweb, Swisscom’s Italian subsidiary to create Italy’s second-largest fixed-line broadband operator behind Telecom Italia (TIM). This, they said, will create around €600 million in savings through increased scale and a more efficient cost structure. As part of the transaction, Vodafone will provide some service to Swisscom for the next five years. 

“The industrial logic of this merger is very strong,” said Swisscom’s CEO Christoph Aeschlimann in a press release. “Fastweb and Vodafone Italia are an ideal fit to create high added value for all stakeholders,” he continued. The deal will allow Swisscom to reinforce its Italian operations, a market it has been operating in since 2007 through Fastweb. 

For some time, Vodafone has been reshaping its operations globally. In October last year, the company sold 100% of its Spanish unit to Zegona Communications for €5 billion, and are currently in proceedings to merge business with Three in the UK. 

“Today, I am announcing the third and final step in the reshaping of our European operations,” said Vodafone’s CEO Margherita Della Valle in a company announcement. “Going forward, our businesses will be operating in growing telco markets – where we hold strong positions – enabling us to deliver predictable, stronger growth in Europe.” Additionally, the company’s announcement stated that it also intends to focus on its B2B sector, which it says is its “biggest opportunity”, to focus on  

Vodafone also stated that from 1st April this year, it will move most of its central operations to a a fully commercial model, allowing them to respond quickly and flexibly to demand changes. 

The deal is subject to standard regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Also on this date, the company will be reorganised into five business divisions: Germany; European Markets; Africa; Vodafone Business; and Vodafone Investments. A personnel change will be implemented to reflect this, including Philippe Rogge stepping down as Vodafone Germany CEO. The full staff changes can be found here. 

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