Italian energy firm A2A has confirmed that it has exercised the put option to sell its 25.7% stake in Milan-based metropolitan fibre-optic operator Metroweb to F2i, Metroweb’s controlling shareholder. By exercising the put option, A2A will collect approximately EUR60 million (USD77.8 million), resulting in a capital gain of around EUR35 million.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June 2011 Metroweb was sold to infrastructure fund F2i and Intesa Sanpaolo’s IMI Investimenti unit for EUR436 million. The company was purchased from UK-based majority shareholder Stirling Square Capital and Milanese municipal utility firm A2A, although the latter retained an indirect interest in Metroweb through a pre-existing loan, which was duly converted into a 25% stake in October 2011.
At 5,100km long, Metroweb claims to have the ‘most widely extended metropolitan network in Europe’. Although the infrastructure is concentrated in Milan, it connects to some of the biggest cities in Northern Italy, including: Bologna, Turin, Verona, Vicenza and Genoa.