Italy’s state-backed lender Cassa Depositi e Presititi (CDP) has reportedly rejected an offer from Telecom Italia (TI) to take a stake in the fibre network operator Metroweb. An email to TI’s CEO Marco Patuano from the head of CDP’s investment arm Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI), which has been leaked to the Italian press, states: ‘CDP and FSI are not in the condition to go ahead… at terms outlined in the MOU (memorandum of understanding) draft sent by Telecom Italia.’ Reuters suggests that CDP favours an offer from rival telco Vodafone Italy.
Milan-based Metroweb is co-owned by Metroweb Holding (87.7%) and Italian internet service provider (ISP) FastWeb (10.6%). Meanwhile, Metroweb Holding is owned by investment fund F2i (53.8%) and FSI (46.2%). The firm currently operates fibre networks in a number of Italian cities and is expected to form a central part of the government’s plans to expand broadband connectivity in Italy. TI is thought to have been looking to secure a majority stake in Metroweb, while Vodafone favours a joint venture between the country’s alternative operators and the government.