Vodafone to merge Italian telco masts with Telecom Italia

@ 2019/05/17
Aims to revive debt riddled Italian outfit

A deal to merge Vodafone’s tower infrastructure in Italy into INWIT, the mast group 60 percent owned by Telecom Italia (TIM), will be signed by the summer.

INWIT’s Chief Executive Giovanni Ferigo said the deal is part of a three year strategy plan ironed out earlier this year by TIM CEO Luigi Gubitosi aimed at reviving Italy’s biggest phone group which is basically stuffed by having more than $28.34 billion of debt and needing to upgrade its gear.

TIM and Vodafone entered into an exclusivity agreement in February to evaluate combining their 22,000 telecom towers in Italy into a single entity.

The deal will also include a partnership to enable faster 5G deployment.

“A signing is expected during the summer”, Ferigo told an analyst call after INWIT’s first quarter financial results.

The combining of Vodafone’s towers into INWIT would leave TIM and Vodafone with equal shareholdings and governance rights in INWIT and ensure there is no obligation for either to launch a tender offer for INWIT’s remaining shares.

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