INWIT CEO seen leaving role in board reshuffle -sources

Illustration shows INWIT logo
The INWIT logo and a stock graph are seen displayed in this illustration taken May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

MILAN, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The chief executive of INWIT (INWT.MI) is set to leave his job as part of a full board reshuffle following the sale of most of Telecom Italia's stake in Italy's top telecoms tower firm, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Earlier this year Telecom Italia (TIM) (TLIT.MI) agreed to sell a 12.4% indirect stake in Milan-listed INWIT to French investment firm Ardian for 1.3 billion euros ($1.33 billion), maintaining a residual indirect 3% holding.

Following the stake sale, an Ardian-led consortium will hold a 27% stake in INWIT, with Vodafone (VOD.L) controlling 33% of a venture in charge of more of 22,000 mobile towers across Italy.

The deal is due to be sealed shortly, after the Italian government gave conditional clearance, and the termination of a shareholder agreement.

A former TIM executive Giovanni Ferigo, 63, has been in charge of INWIT, born as a spin-off of TIM's mobile tower operations, since 2018 and oversaw its merger with Vodafone's mast business in Italy.

INWIT is set to launch the process to appoint a new board as early as this week when it will timetable a shareholder meeting to be held by the end of September, the sources added, declining to be named as deliberations are not public.

Under existing plans, top investors Vodafone and Ardian are each going to present their own slate of candidates by the end of this month.

Ferigo's successor as CEO is expected to come from the British group's list, with the new chairman on Ardian's slate, the people said.

They added the ongoing search process to fill INWIT's top job is focusing on independent candidates in the industry.

INWIT makes the bulk of its revenue by long-term contracts with TIM and Vodafone to host their respective mobile antenna infrastructure on its masts. It is targeting revenues of 850-860 million euros this year.

INWIT, Vodafone, Ardian and Telecom Italia all declined to comment. ($1 = 0.9757 euros)

Reporting by Elvira Pollina Editing by Keith Weir

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