Telecom Italia looks ahead to new M&A  


Just days after the sale of the company’s fixed network infrastructure to KKR was given the green light by the EU, the company is already considering new M&A opportunities 

Telecom Italia (TIM) is open to new business deals once the sale of its fixed-line network NetCo is completed, CEO Pietro Labriola told reporters on a podcast interview for Bloomberg. 

The sale of NetCo for €22 billion, which got the go ahead from the European Commission last week, will allow TIM to cut its debt pile by €7.5 billion by the end of the year. This, said Labriola, will free TIM to “play an active role in Italy’s market consolidation process which will certainly take place in the coming years.” 

Last week, the European Commission announced that it had “investigated the impact of the transaction on the market for wholesale broadband access services in Italy and concluded that it would not significantly reduce the level of competition.” 

According to the Bloomberg article, the sale will allow the company to focus on areas such data centres and cloud computing, as well as its main money maker, its Brazilian unit. 

The Italian telecoms market, meanwhile, remains highly competitive, in part due to the entry of low-cost disrupter Iliad to the market in 2018, initiating brutal price wars and shrinking the operators’ margins.  As a result, the market has been mulling consolidation for some time, with various tie-ups considered over the past few years. This finally came to a head earlier this year when Vodafone announced it would sell its Italian unit to Swisscom, owner of rival Fastweb, for €8 billion. 

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