While boosting the return of investment for stakeholder’s is important, it should not be at the cost of of dilution of a strategic asset. Other avenues will have to be sought on how to add new shareholders to Italy’s broadband backbone.
On Friday, Arnaud De Puyfontaine, the chairman of Telecom Italia (TIM) said since its fixed-line network is a strategic asset the group is examining ways to find a shared solution to other investors joining it as shareholders.
“For us the network is strategic,” said De Puyfontaine in an interview to la Repubblica while adding that if the network were separated from the platform, it could potentially make sense since it would allow other companies to join it and help reduce the digital gap prevalent in Italy.
“(CEO Amos) Genish and I are working on this front with pragmatism. We understand the national interest, we will examine the dossier with the government: the important issue is to meet the interest of all stakeholders,” said De Puyfontaine.
Significantly, he mentioned that it would be “premature” to discuss even the possibility of new shareholders joining the backbone network.
His comments come in the wake of speculation that Cassa Depositi e Prestiti could take a stake if the network is spun off.
When asked whether competition between Telecom Italian and rival Open Fiber to roll out ultra-fast broadband was damaging, he replied that competition was always a positive thing.
He also mentioned that Vivendi, a French media group was in talks with Mediaset, a private broadcaster, to resolve a legal dispute between the two groups.