MILAN, March 14 (Reuters) – Italian telecoms operator Wind Tre is planning to spin-off its network assets into a separate company to potentially pave the way to M&A deals, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.
Wind Tre’s infrastructure business mainly consists of the so-called active mobile network – or antennas – which are distributed across Italy, and what is known as the “backbone”, a portion of the landline network.
Like other telecoms operators in Italy, Wind Tre has been grappling with aggressive price competition which has eroded earnings, at a time when heavy investment is needed to build-up a fifth-generation mobile grid.
Spinning off the network could pave the way to M&A deals, including a potential sale of the infrastructure business, the sources said, cautioning that deliberations are ongoing.
Owned by CK Hutchison, the ports-to-telecoms arm of retired billionaire Li Ka-shing, Wind Tre would shift some 2,000 workers of its 6,500 workers in Italy into the network venture, the sources said.
Wind Tre declined to comment.
CK Hutchinson did non immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. (Reporting by Elvira Pollina, editing by Gavin Jones)