January 22, 2020 / 3:59 PM / a month ago

Telecom Italia CEO talks with Open Fiber ongoing "but there is always a plan B"

ROME, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Discussions between Telecom Italia and Open Fiber to merger their fibre-optic assets are still ongoing but “in life there is always a plan B,” the chief executive of Italy’s biggest phone group said on Wednesday.

Telecom Italia has been talking since last June with Open Fiber’s owners - utility Enel and state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti - on ways of combining their fibre broadband operations.

Sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters a deal is proving difficult to hammer out and efforts by Telecom Italia to bring onboard investment funds to help it buy Enel’s stake in Open Fiber have stalled.

“Funds have shown an interest in investing, even at valuations that could appear aggressive”, CEO Luigi Gubitosi told an event organised by an association of small Telecom Italia investors when asked about negotiations with Open Fiber.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina,

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