Telecom Italia agrees to offload directories unit

11 Jun 2003

Italy’s leading telco Telecom Italia [NYSE: TI] said this morning that it has agreed to sell its 61.5% stake in Seat Pagine Gialle’s (Seat PG) directories subsidiary for EUR3.03 billion to a consortium of private equity groups headed by BC Partners. Telecom Italia paid more than three times that for the holding three years ago, but is keen to offload non-core assets in a bid to reduce its debt pile before it merges with holding company Olivetti later in the year. In addition to the asking price, the consortium will also assume just over EUR700 million of Seat PG’s debts. Telecom Italia has said the remaining television and internet units of Seat PG will be transferred to a new company called Telecom Italia Media.