Telecom Italia’s board of directors gave full powers to new CEO Pietro Labriola to explore strategic options for the group, including a long-gestated plan to spin off its fixed network, as the executive prepared to get down to business.
Labriola gave the board a first glimpse of his industrial plan for the period from 2022 to 2024, which he will formally submit on 2 March 2022. The newly-minted CEO has reportedly been working on the three-year strategy since being appointed GM in November 2021.
Telecom Italia stated Labriola now has a mandate to explore strategic options to “maximise shareholder value, with specific reference to the group’s infrastructure assets, including solutions that go beyond vertical integration”.
The operator also indicated it continues to analyse a near €11 billion bid launched by investment fund KKR to buy out Telecom Italia’s shares and take it private.
Italy’s government reportedly insisted it must retain control of Telecom Italia’s strategic assets should any potential takeover progress.
Labriola is already said to have proposed separating infrastructure assets from services operations. Such a move could pave the way for a previously mooted merger of Telecom Italia’s fixed network assets with those of Open Fiber.
Telecom Italia already transferred its so-called secondary network into FiberCop and sold a 37.5 per cent stake in the unit to KKR Infrastructure for €1.8 billion. Italian provider Fastweb also moved its 20 per cent stake in FlashFiber, a joint venture with Telecom Italia, into FiberCop and taken a 4.5 per cent stake.