MILAN Aug 9 Telecom Italia said on
Thursday it had agreed to sell its Matrix web unit to Internet
company Libero for 88 million euros ($109 million) including
debt, as Italy's biggest telecoms group seeks to cut debt during
an economic downturn.
Telecom Italia sought earlier in August to reassure
investors it would meet its debt-reduction targets without
further dividend cuts after first-half core earnings were hit by
recession in Italy and weak growth in Brazil.
The deal with Libero, belonging to the Weather Investment II
holding company of Egypt's Naguib Sawiris, is expected to be
finalised mid-November, Telecom Italia said in a statement.
Matrix, which has the Italian web portal Vigilio and
operates directory assistance services, posted sales of 96
million euros in 2011 and employs 280 people.
As part of its debt-cutting efforts, Telecom Italia has also
put up for sale its Telecom Italia Media television
unit and is considering separating its fixed line network.
($1 = 0.8093 euros)
(Reporting By Danilo Masoni)