Telecom Italia, which trades in its domestic market under the TIM brand, has confirmed that it is considering the separation of its fixed network business as it looks to address government concerns that French shareholder Vivendi – with a 24% stake – has too much influence over what is considered a strategic asset. In a statement, TIM said: ‘Over the coming months, the management will continue to examine various hypotheses to establish whether network separation is needed to address Institutions input and to unlock value.’ The telco has already said that it wants to retain control of its network business but it does not need to keep a 100% interest.
An unnamed source told Reuters that TIM is unlikely to make a decision on the network split prior to May 2018’s parliamentary elections, which could see a change in government. The source was quoted as saying: ‘It would make sense to separate the network and list it, because it would create value, but TIM doesn’t intend to make any significant announcements before the vote.’
Meanwhile, Telecom Italia’s board – meeting to discuss a preliminary 2018-2020 business plan – has also voted to continue negotiations with pay-TV firm Mediaset to reach an agreement on the acquisition of content.