HomeAccessCDP and Macquarie jointly prepare a bid for TIM’s NetCo

    CDP and Macquarie jointly prepare a bid for TIM’s NetCo


    KKR has already offered €20 billion, but the government is keen on public ownership

    As expected, the state-backed bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), is to join the bidding for TIM’s NetCo, teaming up with Australian investment fund Macquarie. Reuters reports the two are going to bid about €20 billion.

    CDP is already the second biggest shareholder in Telecom Italia with a 10% stake and through the indirect ownership of this golden share, the government can block any bid. Previously CDP valued the NetCo at €18 billion.

    The right wing Government which came into power last autumn has said repeatedly it would like what it sees as the strategic infrastructure pass into public ownership.

    Bidding war

    KKR offered €20 billion for the NetCo last week, which comprises the mostly copper access network, Fibercop, and the submarine and other infrastructure assets of Sparkle, TIM’s international carrier.

    KKR already owns 37.5% of Fibercop and had a previous offer to acquire the NetCo rejected last April.

    Macquarie owns a 40% stake in Open Fiber, a rival to Fibercop, with CDP owning the other 60%.

    Until the new Government blocked the deal, Fibercop and Open Fiber were set to merge as part of the CEO’s strategy to separate the consolidated national access network plus the international assets from the services they carry and sell the NetCo.

    The French media conglomerate Vivendi has a 24% stake in Telecom Italia group and thinks the NetCo is worth more like €30 billion. As the biggest shareholder in the the group, it has considerable influence.

    There is a board meeting to review the situation scheduled for 24 February.