November 16, 2012 / 8:46 AM / 5 years ago

Talks over Telecom Italia network spin-off stall-press

MILAN, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Italy’s biggest telecoms group Telecom Italia may decide not to spin off its fixed-line network as talks with state-owned fund Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) have stalled, Il Sole 24 Ore said.

Telecom Italia is in talks to create a new fixed-line network company and sell 30 percent of it to CDP, keeping the rest.

The newspaper reported on Friday that spin-off talks had faltered over differences of opinion about valuation and governance. It did not cite sources.

Debt-laden Telecom Italia wants the network to be valued at least 15 billion euros ($19 billion) while CDP wants to appoint the head of the newly formed company, the newspaper said.

Telecom Italia Chairman Franco Bernabe has repeatedly said a decision on whether to go ahead with the network spin-off would be taken by the end of the year.

Telecom Italia’s board will discuss the matter at a board meeting on Dec. 6, along with a possible bid for Vivendi’s Brazilian telecom operator GVT.

Il Sole 24 Ore said if the network separation plan was scrapped, CDP might invest directly in Telecom Italia to help fund much-needed broadband investments.

On Thursday, a Telecom Italia executive said an offer from Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris to buy new shares in the Italian company was one option on the table for funding any GVT bid. ($1 = 0.7817 euros) (Reporting By Danilo Masoni; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)

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