TI signs away HanseNet, fails to reach Telecom Argentina decision

4 Dec 2009

Telecom Italia (TI) has announced the signing of a final agreement to sell its German broadband unit HanseNet to Telefonica of Spain for EUR900 million (USD1.34 billion). The Spanish company’s German operations, Telefonica O2 Germany, will add HanseNet’s DSL customers, which currently stand at around 2.2 million. According to the Spanish group, this will make Telefonica O2 Germany the third largest player in the market in terms of revenue, generating potential annual turnover of almost EUR5 billion, with 15 million mobile and 2.4 million DSL customers. The sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2010, subject to regulatory approval.

Meanwhile, TI failed to reach a decision regarding the sale of its 50% stake in Sofora, the holding company that controls Argentine incumbent Telecom Argentina, during its last board meeting held on 2 December due to low offers on the table, BNamericas reports citing Argentine newspaper La Nacion. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Argentina’s antitrust agency, the National Commission for the Defense of Competition (CNDC), determined in late August that TI’s 50% stake in Sofora violates antitrust legislation as Spain’s Telefonica, which took a 24.7% stake in the Italian firm, already owns fixed line operator Telefonica de Argentina. A number of companies have reportedly expressed an interest in TI’s stake, including six Argentine groups – Grupo America, Grupo Clarin, Telecentro, Grupo Pegasus, Grupo Roman and Inversiones Condor – as well as Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and Brazilian group Andrade Gutierrez.

Argentina, Germany, HanseNet Telekommunikation (Alice), Telecom Argentina (incl. Cablevision), Telecom Italia (TIM)