On 15 July 2015 the board of directors of Italian internet service provider (ISP) Tiscali agreed a merger with domestic wireless broadband operator Aria, with the process expected to conclude in November 2015. According to Tiscali, the transaction is expected to strengthen its industrial and financial position, and consolidate its presence in the consumer and business broadband sectors.
The combination is set to be implemented via the incorporation of Tiscali into a new company which will be responsible for the entire share capital of Aria. Following the transaction, the existing shareholders of Aria will hold a total stake of about 18% of the combined entity, while a further 22% will be held by investment fund Otkritie Disciplined Equity Fund (ODEF).
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in March 2015 Tiscali signed a non-binding letter of intent concerning the tie-up with Aria. Tiscali said the deal will enable it to expand its reach by utilising Aria’s regional 3.5GHz wireless networks, which currently use WiMAX technology but could be upgraded to support 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) with speeds up to 50Mbps.