Tel Italia mulling sale of up to 60 pct of fixed-line network - paper

MILAN Fri May 3, 2013 2:39am EDT

MILAN May 3 (Reuters) - Italian phone company Telecom Italia could place up to 60 percent of its fixed-lined access network on the market, according to a newspaper report on Friday.

The telecoms group is mulling spinning off the network and offloading around 45-60 percent of the unit, Il Messaggero said, citing a draft copy of the term sheet.

The deal would see 30-40 percent of the capital floated on the Italian Stock Exchange and 15-20 percent sold to an investment fund owned by state-controlled financing company Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, the paper said.

The term sheet will be presented to the investment fund, FSI, by Telecom Italian management shortly, the paper said.

In April, Telecom Italia appointed a panel of directors to look at a possible tie-up with Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa and asked its management to look into the feasibility of spinning off the network, which analysts value at between 12 billion and 15 billion euros ($16-20 billion).

The former telecoms monopoly has been in talks for months to separate its domestic fixed-line network into a new company in which CDP would buy a significant minority stake.

The company will hold a board meeting on May 8.

Telecom Italia was not immediately available for a comment. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Mark Potter)

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