August 1, 2019 / 5:51 PM / 4 months ago

Enel CEO says in no rush on Telecom Italian broadband tie-up

FILE PHOTO: The new logo of Italy's biggest utility Enel is seen inside its flagship store in downtown Milan, Italy, May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - The head of Italian utility Enel (ENEI.MI) said he was prepared to take his time to work on a broadband deal between the company’s Open Fiber venture and Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI).

Former monopoly Telecom Italia (TIM) has signed a non-disclosure agreement with Open Fiber owners state lender CDP and Enel to kick off talks on ways of integrating its fibre optic network with their venture, including a possible merger.

“We have no hurry, no rush we have no burning house,” Enel CEO Francesco Starace told an analysts’ call on Thursday after Enel released its latest financial results.

“We don’t want to get into the antitrust loops that an integrated combination might come up with,” he added.

The head of Italy’s national communications watchdog has warned that a single network controlled by TIM would be a “backward step.”

But Starace said he was convinced that the combination was a goal worth pursuing.

“Anything that speeds up and makes more efficient the cabling of the national system is welcome and I think could create value for all the shareholders,” he said.

“I think there are many ways of achieving this goal and I’m sure in the next few months some of these ways will become more clear.”

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Keith Weir

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