Enel invites equity firms to bid for Wind

13 Jan 2005

Italian utility company Enel has invited six private equity funds, including US-based Blackstone, to consider entering bids for its telecoms arm Wind, according to the Financial Times. Enel is looking to sell the heavily indebted operator by the end of 2006, preferably through an initial public offering, and has asked the six groups to ‘evaluate a possible entry into Wind prior to its listing on the bourse.’ The telco is the second largest fixed line player in the Italian market and the third biggest mobile services provider. However, the fixed line division is struggling to make headway in its battle with incumbent Telecom Italia, leading Enel to consider withdrawing in order to concentrate upon core electricity and gas activities. The power company hopes to redeem the EUR13 billion it has invested in Wind, and has already rejected one bid for the company valued at EUR12 billion, from a group led by former Fiat chairman Cesare Romiti. The consortium, which also includes New York financier Wilbur Ross and French equity specialist Philippe Nguyen, is expected to table a revised bid next week.

Italy, WINDTRE (incl. Wind and 3 Italia)