Telecom Italia says advisors to look at network spinoff

MILAN Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:27am EDT

MILAN Oct 10 (Reuters) - Italy's largest telecoms group Telecom Italia said on Wednesday it had asked advisors to start assessing aspects of a possible spin-off of its fixed-line access network.

Telecom Italia is in talks with state-backed financing body Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) to move its valuable landline infrastructure into a separate company and boost badly-needed broadband investment in Italy.

The telecoms company has started a beauty contest to pick up financial advisors for the planned spin-off, Italian daily Il Messaggero reported on Tuesday.

Banks must submit proposals by Oct. 15, the paper said.

"The company clarifies that in this preliminary phase such advisory activity is merely intended to acquire technical, economic and financial value elements," Telecom Italia said in a statement.

A network spin-off could help Telecom Italia reach its debt reduction targets and lower its 30.4 billion euro debt pile. Two banking sources have told Reuters that the group was considering appointing two banks to advise it on the mechanics of the deal.

The network has an estimated value of 9-15 billion euros. (Reporting By Danilo Masoni)