MILAN Dec 13 Italy's third-largest commercial
broadcaster Telecom Italia Media has mandated its
management to look into possible cost cuts after continued
weakness in its results and debt levels in November, the company
said on Thursday.
Loss-making Telecom Italia Media has been put up for sale by
its controlling shareholder, Telecom Italia, to help
cut Telecom's debt pile of nearly 30 billion euros ($39 billion)
and focus on its core telecoms business.
However, uncertain prospects for the media industry have
resulted in unsatisfactory offers for Telecom Italia Media,
which has a market capitalisation of almost 230 million euros.
In a statement Telecom Italia Media said it had appointed
Marco Ghigliani as CEO of its La7 channel, the main source of
losses for the company.
Earlier in December, Telecom Italia said it wanted to
continue negotiations with the two bidders for its television
unit to extract a better price.
Private equity fund Clessidra and media firm Cairo
have placed binding offers, sources have said.
A source close to the bidding process had previously told
Reuters that telecom Italia Media needs cost cuts for around
20-25 million euros annually.
Telecom Italia is open to selling its whole stake but will
also consider selling the cash-burning TV channels separately
from the profitable broadcast network operator, which leases
bandwidth to carry its own and rival channels.
($1 = 0.7669 euros)
(Reporting By Danilo Masoni, editing by Jennifer Clark)