A report from Italy suggests that state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) could sell its 50% interest in wholesale network operator Open Fiber to Telecom Italia (TIM), which would then merge the two firms’ fixed infrastructure to create a single nationwide broadband network. Il Messaggero writes that CDP officials have discussed the plan with TIM’s largest shareholder, Vivendi of France.
As well as being co-owner of Open Fiber, CDP has built up a stake of 9.9% in TIM. The report says that the state-backed fund would accept TIM shares in return for its interest in Open Fiber, which could give it a stake of around 20%-25%. Vivendi has a 23.9% interest in the telco. Earlier this month TIM’s chief executive Luigi Gubitosi said that a merger of Open Fiber and TIM’s network assets would be ‘a positive step for both companies’.