Vivendi against sale of TIM’s network if it undervalues asset

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© Reuters. ARCHIVE PHOTO: A Vivendi poster is seen at the company’s headquarters in Paris, France, April 8, 2015. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes / File Photo


ROME (Reuters) – Telecom Italia’s main investor (TIM), Vivendi (OTC :), would oppose the sale of the Italian telephone group’s fixed network that underestimates TIM’s main infrastructure assets, and would be willing to evaluate other options, according to the CEO of the French group. dit.

“I want to be clear about the value of the network,” Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine told La Repubblica in an interview published on Wednesday.

“Vivendi will never support the sale of the network at the estimated value of analysts [of between 17-21 billion euros] and that ‘s TIM’ s best interest. “

TIM and state provider CDP signed a preliminary agreement on Sunday to create a national broadband champion under a plan that would allow TIM to withdraw from its fixed network before merging with its broadband rival’s network. CDP controlled, Open Fiber.

“If the real value (of the TIM network) is not recognized, given that we are a long-term industrial investor, we are prepared to evaluate other opportunities,” de Puyfontaine said.

TIM has put a price of about 20 billion euros including the debt in the fixed network, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

De Puyfontaine said the long-awaited plan to combine TIM’s fixed line with that of Open Fiber was “the main route” in terms of TIM’s business strategy, “but not the only one”.

CDP, which is TIM’s second largest investor with a 10% stake and also owns 60% of Open Fiber, is willing to control the combined network.

TIM and CDP intend to sign a binding agreement in late October. ($ 1 = $ 0.9337)

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