Telecom Italia today confirmed that it has been in talks with Italian network provider, Open Fiber, to potentially merge and initiate a full fiber network rollout.
The discussions have been ongoing between the two companies since June 2019. Back then, the Italian government made it clear that they would prefer it if one operator would provide the country with fiber optic networks.
Late last year, Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s deputy Prime Minister said, “We are working to set the conditions in order to create a single player to distribute internet and broadband.”
In reference to the potential merge between the two entities, CEO of Telecom Italia, Luigi Gubitosi said that the talks are still ongoing and that “in life there is always a plan B”.
In order for the merge to happen, a few factors need to be considered. Open Fiber is owned by Enel, the Italian utility provider and renowned Italian Investment bank Cass Depositi e Prestiti. Due to this, for a merge to take place between the two, Telecom Italia would have to buy out Enel’s stake.
When asked about negotiations with Open Fiber at an industry event earlier this week, Gubitosi stated, “Funds have shown an interest in investing, even at valuations that could appear aggressive.”