Telecom Italia (TIM), its last-mile network investment partner KKR, and the shareholders of Italian wholesale provider Open Fiber – Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Macquarie Asset Management – have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the integration of the fixed infrastructure assets of TIM and Open Fiber. The purpose of the MoU, TIM says, is ‘to start a process aimed at creating a single, non-vertically integrated telecommunications network operator’.
According to a statement from the telco, the deal will be structured by separating TIM’s fixed network infrastructure activities from its commercial activities, and then integrating the former with the network controlled by Open Fiber, ‘in a manner to be defined’. The parties aim to sign a binding agreement by the end of October.
The Italian government investment arm CDP owns 60% of Open Fiber and around 10% of TIM, with authorities in Rome keen to see the companies combine to speed up the deployment of ultra-broadband networks and reduce rollout costs. CDP will control the merged entity, freeing TIM to focus on its retail business.