TIM to rebuff Italian government’s offer for Sparkle


Reports suggest that the government’s €750 million offer for TIM’s submarine cable unit will be rejected, with the operator seeking a better offer

Last week, the Italian government reportedly made a bid to acquire 100% of TIM’s submarine cable unit Sparkle. While the financial details of the bid were not revealed, reports suggested that it valued the business at up to €750 million.

Today, further reports suggest that this bid is set to be rejected by TIM, with the company’s directors set to seek a higher offer for its subsea assets.

According to anonymous sources within TIM, the company believes Sparkle to be worth €850 million.

Sparkle itself currently owns and operates around 600,000km of submarine cable infrastructure, as well as supporting assets like cable landing stations and data centres. These assets are viewed as critical infrastructure by the Italian government, which has had designs on purchasing part of all of the business since the Meloni government took charge at the end of 2022.

TIM sold its fixed line network assets to US private equity firm KKR for €22 billion back in November, with Sparkle notably excluded due to the government’s interest in these assets.

Negotiations over Sparkle’s future are expected to continue this week, with sources suggesting that TIM may also seek to retain a minority share in the business as part of the settlement, as well as a higher price tag.

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