September 23, 2014 / 12:01 PM / 5 years ago

Telecom Italia weighs listing of Italian mobile towers - sources

MILAN, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Italian phone group Telecom Italia is considering a stock market listing of its domestic mobile towers in 2015 instead of selling them as initially planned, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.

“An initial public offering is an option which has been under consideration for some time. For Telecom Italia probably the time is ripe,” one of the sources told Reuters.

Telecom Italia, which had expected to conclude the sale of the towers this year, declined to comment.

Along with a separate sale of towers in Brazil, the Italian deal is part of a strategy to cut debt and fund investments announced by Chief Executive Marco Patuano last November.

Telecom Italia, whose credit rating was cut to “junk” status last year, was aiming to raise a combined of at least 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) from the sale of the Italian and Brazilian towers.

According to one of the sources, a decision on any flotation has not yet been taken and the company would probably wait until after the listing of Raiway, the network unit of state broadcaster RAI, in order to evaluate market appetite for similar assets.

Raiway is expected to be listed this year. (1 US dollar = 0.7758 euro) (Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo)

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