Telecom Italia to study spin-offs; signs MoU with NEC

16 Sep 2008

The board of Telecom Italia may discuss the spin-off of its wireline networks business into a separate company, reports local newspaper La Repubblica without citing sources. The telco’s board is meeting on 25 September and could also consider a plan to allow new institutional investors to take a stake in the company. Meanwhile, Reuters suggests that the sale of all or part of Telecom Italia’s mobile phone transmission tower network is another option being discussed. The tower network has been valued at up to EUR5 billion. Telecom Italia’s chief executive, Franco Bernabe, has come under fire for what some shareholders have seen as an overly conservative strategy as he attempts to reduce the group’s EUR37 billion debt.

Separately, Telecom Italia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese equipment vendor NEC which will see the pair collaborate on the mutual development of global business, technologies and network improvement. Telecom Italia is reportedly looking to implement NEC technology to enhance its broadband and wireless networks. Under the MoU NEC will establish a Technical Excellence Centre in Italy. No financial details were disclosed.

Italy, NEC, Telecom Italia (TIM)