State-backed Italian utility group Enel has been chosen to enter exclusive negotiations with shareholders of fibre network operator Metroweb, following Enel’s decision to raise its offer for Metroweb to match an earlier bid from Telecom Italia. Enel has made a revised offer which would value Metroweb at EUR814 million (USD907 million), having previously valued the firm at EUR806 million. The state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) decided to go with Enel because of its investment plans for Metroweb, La Repubblica writes.
The utility group has created a new vehicle – Enel Open Fibre – through which it intends to invest EUR2.5 billion on the rollout of an open access nationwide fibre network. It is thought that it will look to merge the unit with Metroweb, allowing CDP and its fellow shareholder, investment fund F2i, to retain an interest in the combined broadband operation. Metroweb has deployed fibre infrastructure in a number of Italian cities, including Milan, Genoa, Turin and Bologna.
Separately, Telecom Italia has announced a trial launch of 1Gbps fibre services to parts of Milan and Perugia using fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology. The firm says around 1,000 households in 200 buildings in Perugia are able to access the advanced services, while 3,000 premises in Milan are being invited to trial the new services for six months.