Telecom Italia says it’s still in control of Persidera sale

Telecom Italia (TIM) has said that the transfer of its majority stake in transmission towers outfit Persidera to a trust does not affect its control of the sale of the stake, over which it “retains full and exclusive ownership”.

TIM said that “incorrect information” had appeared in some press reports, the award to Advolis – operator of the trust – of a proxy to act in the sale of the stake did place any restriction on TIM’s control of the sale.

Telecom Italia’s leading shareholder Vivendi had previously accepted the sale of TIM’s 70% stake in Persidera to win EC authorisation of its stake in the telco.

TIM in January accepted an offer for the stake from infrastructure investor F2i and towers company Rai Way that reportedly valued Persidera at €250 million.

However, Reuters has reported that US infrastructure investment fund I Squared Capital has expressed interest in the business with an proposal that values the business at €290 million, citing unnamed sources.

Rai Way and F2i’s bid would see F2i hold and manage the rights of use of the spectrum currently granted to Persidera for its DTT multiplexes, while Rai Way would acquire the network infrastructure with the simultaneous signing of a long-term agreement for the supply of broadcasting services.

According to analysts at Berenberg, the reported €250 valuation placed on the company by that offer was well below the amount TIM had reportedly been seeking and “would appear at face value to be a very cheap deal” for an infrastructure company with a 50% EBITDA margin.

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