Telecom Italia has reportedly made a formal all-cash offer to acquire Metroweb which values the Milan-based fibre operator at more than EUR820 million (USD930 million). According to Reuters, which cites ‘a source close to the matter’, Telecom is ready to buy either all of Metroweb outright or a majority interest of 67.7%. The incumbent operator had been looking to exchange a stake in its international unit TI Sparkle for Metroweb shares, but an agreement could not be reached, prompting Telecom to switch to an all-cash offer.
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate yesterday, the Italian utility firm Enel is also thought to have made an informal offer to acquire a majority stake in Metroweb Holding, the holding company that has an 87.7% interest in Metroweb. Metroweb Holding is owned by the government investment group Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and infrastructure fund F2i, while ISP Fastweb has a direct stake in the fibre operator. Metroweb is being seen as an ideal vehicle for Italian firms to push ahead with the rollout of nationwide fibre broadband networks as part of a government-backed project to meet EU Digital Agenda targets by 2020.