Telecom Italia spinoff 'will get the green light'

Summary:The Italian incumbent's plan to divest its fixed-line business is likely to get the go-ahead from the board, analysts say.

Telecom Italia's board of directors is likely to approve the spinoff of the company's fixed-line business, a move which has been the subject of much debate over the last few months.

Analysts at Societe Generale revealed the move ahead of time, publishing a research note on Wednesday following an investor meeting with the telco's management.

Rumours had been circulating this week that Telefonica, the Spanish carrier which is also one of Telecom Italia's major shareholders, would vote against the proposed spinoff.

Telecom Italia's board of directors met earlier this week to further discuss the viability of separating its fixed-line assets from the rest of the business, with the prospects for the spinoff seeming bleak.

However, Wednesday's news has changed predictions of the likelihood of a spinoff. "Telecom Italia will probably reach an agreement on the go-ahead of the [fixed-line] network spinoff and only then will talks with the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti  and other parties continue," the research note said.

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti is an Italian banking group which has shown interest in taking a stake in Telecom Italia, as has Hutchinson Whampoa .

"This isn't breaking news, but the fact that analysts are talking about it following the investor meeting makes the possibility even more real. Furthermore, according to Societe Generale, the board is said to be optimistic on Telecom Italia's debt reduction target," said a source interviewed by Italian financial publication Milano Finanza.

Separately, Telefonica has signed a global partnership with Russian conglomerate Megafon. Under the deal, Megafon will join Telefonica's partners programme, with both companies looking to cut costs and swap technical expertise. 

Topics: Broadband, EU

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Born in Rome and travelling extensively throughout her childhood, Cristina finished her studies in the UK reading Molecular Biology at university. After settling back in Italy's capital, Cristina rediscovered her passion for writing and geekery, which eventually led to working as a blogger and social media manager. Cristina has collaborat... Full Bio

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