INWIT minority shareholders back tower deal with Vodafone in Italy

ROZZANO, Italy (Reuters) - Shareholders in Telecom Italia's (TIM) masts business INWIT INWT.MI approved a planned merger with Vodafone's Italian mobile tower company at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, INWIT's chairman Piergiorgio Peluso said.

TIM TLIT.MI, which owns 60% of INWIT, and Vodafone VOD.L agreed earlier this year to merge their mobile tower infrastructure and to jointly roll out 5G in Italy.

INWIT’s minority shareholders, whose green light was needed for TIM to be able to sign off the deal, approved the merger almost unanimously at Thursday’s meeting.

After the merger, TIM and Vodafone will have 37.5% each of the enlarged INWIT.

INWIT shareholders also approved a special dividend totaling 570 million euros ($634 million), equal to 0.5936 euros per share, once the merger is completed.

The 10 billion euro tie-up is awaiting European Union antitrust approval and is expected to close in the first few months of 2020.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina, Editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Mark Potter