September 1, 2017 / 9:21 AM / a year ago

Enel CEO says not interested in discussing possibility of single network firm

CERNOBBIO, Italy, (Reuters) - Italy’s top utility Enel (ENEI.MI) is not interested in discussing merging its fiber-optic infrastructure business with that of Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) to create a single network company, CEO Francesco Starace said on Friday.

File Photo - Francesco Starace, CEO and general manager of Enel Group, at the MAXXI National Museum in Rome, Italy, May 17, 2016 REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Open Fiber, controlled by utility Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, and Telecom Italia are building separate fast internet networks across Italy. Some politicians in Rome as well as industry players have said it might make sense for them to join forces.

“We are very busy connecting Italy and that is the mission of Open Fiber... We are not interested in talking about it (the possibility of a single network company), it is not an exciting topic for us,” Starace told reporters on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti business forum.

He also rejected speculation about a possible management reshuffle at Open Fiber.

Open Fiber would be in good position to buy the copper network of phone incumbent Telecom Italia if it were put up for sale, the chairman of the fiber-optic company Franco Bassanini said in a newspaper interview last month.

Reporting by Giancarlo Navach and Valentina Za, writing by Silvia Aloisi

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