No Cairo cakewalk as TI spurns investment approach from Sawiris

7 Dec 2012

Telecom Italia (TI) has rejected a EUR3 billion (USD3.91 billion) investment offer from Egyptian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris, Reuters reports. The heavily indebted telco said that its board had decided ‘not to proceed further’ with regards to an expression of interest from Sawiris, who had proposed to invest capital to engineer a strategic turnaround.

In other news, TI’s eight-hour board meeting also saw management urged to continue its investigation into a possible sale of a stake in its copper network to state fund Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). The biggest obstacle to such an agreement appears to be the valuation of the network and the governance of the new company, people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Finally, TI also hopes to continue negotiations with two unconfirmed bidders for its loss-making television unit Telecom Italia Media, in order to extract a better price. Companies rumoured to still be in the running for the unit include Italian private equity fund Clessidra and advertising firm Cairo Communication. Companies that have seemingly fallen by the wayside include Hutchison Whampoa’s H3G Italia unit and US TV group Discovery Communications.

Italy, Telecom Italia (TIM), Telecom Italia Media