Telecom Italia said it has accepted KKR Infrastructure’s €1.8bn binding offer to acquire a minority stake in a new co-investment project called FiberCop.

The Italian telecommunications company said the agreement, which also involves Italian operator Fastweb, is the first step to creating a national ultrafast broadband network.

The new entity, of which Telecom Italia will hold 58%, KKR Infrastructure 37.5% and Fastweb 4.5%, “will offer passive access services of the secondary copper and fibre networks to all operators,” it said.

Telecom Italia’s secondary network, along with the fibre network developed by FlashFiber – the joint venture between TIM and Fastweb – will be transferred to FiberCop.

The operation is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021 and is subject to the authorisation of relevant authorities.

Telecom Italia also said the board of directors has approved a preliminary deal with CDP Equity to integrate FiberCop in a wider project to form a single national network company through the merger of FiberCop and Open Fiber.

Under the terms of the agreement, Telecom Italia will own at least 50.1% of the entity, while CDP Equity will guarantee its independence and third-party status.

A due diligence process is expected by the end of the year, according to the company. The aim is to reach a merger agreement, which is subject to approvals, by the end of the first quarter of 2021 “at the latest.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

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