Telecom Italia (TIM) chairman Arnaud De Puyfontaine has confirmed that the telco is in discussions with the Italian government over the future of its fixed network infrastructure. Reuters cites the executive as saying: ‘We understand the national interest, we will examine the dossier with the government: the important issue is to meet the interest of all stakeholders.’
The government considers TIM’s network a strategic asset, and has been pushing for the operator to spin off its network operations into a separate legal entity within the Telecom Italia group, which would then offer access to the infrastructure to all parties – including TIM – on an equal basis. The separated network unit would be worth an estimated EUR15 billion (USD17.4 billion) according to reports.
De Puyfontaine added that it is ‘premature’ to discuss new shareholders taking a stake in the infrastructure business, after speculation that state investment firm Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) could look to acquire an interest.