October 11, 2017 / 11:09 AM / a year ago

Italy state lender role in T.Italia could solve network tiff - PD's Orfini

ROME, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) could buy part or all of Vivendi’s stake in Telecom Italia (TIM) in a bid to protect strategic telecom network assets, president of the ruling PD party said in a position paper.

In the document published by online magazine Key4Biz, Matteo Orfini also said a public or private Italian investor could flank Vivendi as a shareholder in TIM, in which the French media group is the top shareholder with a 24 percent stake.

Orfini, listing a series of scenarios to resolve the ongoing disputes over TIM’s network assets, considered by Rome as strategic, said Vivendi should be given the opportunity to give up control of Italy’s biggest phone group.

Instead, it should focus on building a European media powerhouse in partnership with broadcaster Mediaset, in which it has built a stake of just under 30 percent.

The politician said TIM’s network could be separated into a regulated newco, fully controlled by TIM but legally distinct.

That move, along with a state participation in TIM, could facilitate a later integration with network rival Open Fiber, which is jointly controlled by CDP and state-controlled utility Enel

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, writing by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Stephen Jewkes

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