Government Wants to Control Telecom Italia Key Assets
Italian government insists to retain control of Telecom Italia’s strategic assets in case of a takeover. Meanwhile, the operator’s board continues to assess a bid by investment company KKR.
Industry minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said the state wants to keep control of key infrastructure, which is deemed to be of national interest. The government has the power to block any deal involving such assets, as Telecom Italia owns the majority of the country’s telecoms infrastructure.
Giorgetti suggested the government would block KKR’s €10.7 billion bid if it jeopardises a wider government goal to combine Telecom Italia’s infrastructure assets with state-backed company Open Fiber. “The government respects the market but any takeover bid must take into account a framework within which the state cannot relinquish control,” Giorgetti said.
As well as the operator’s board, KKR needs government support to push through the deal. Telecom Italia’s largest shareholder Vivendi does not back the takeover, but KKR does not necessarily need its support. Vivendi previously stated it was open to handing control of Telecom Italia’s fixed network to the government, helping with the state’s goal to ramp broadband rollout across the country.