The Italian government-backed lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) would consider making an investment in former monopoly operator Telecom Italia (TIM) if required under the state’s ‘golden powers’. Authorities in Rome are currently investigating the role of French media group Vivendi at TIM, which is considered to be a strategic national asset. If it is found to have effective control of the telco – having built up a stake of over 24% and taken two-thirds of TIM’s board – then the government could issue a fine for failure to notify it of such a move, and TIM may come under pressure to divest key assets such as network infrastructure or its international wholesale arm Sparkle.
According to a report from Reuters, CDP, which already owns 50% of wholesale network provider Open Fiber, has said it would consider an investment in TIM if required by the government. CDP Chairman Claudio Costamagna is quoted as saying its priority remains Open Fiber, ‘But if the government asked us to enter Telecom by exercising the golden power, we would look at it to see if it was advantageous or not.’