Telecom Italia gets refinanced, weighs sales

Telecom Italia's parent company is getting much-needed re-financing help from Spain's Telefonica and other existing investors. Those investors, which hold a stake of just under 25 percent in the Italian company, said they will refinance about a third of the Telecom Italia debt coming due next month. At various times, there have been rumors and suggestions that Telefonica should acquire control of Telecom Italia, though that possibility has been strongly opposed by the Italian government and doesn't appear to be in the cards for now.

Meanwhile, Telecom Italia is continuing to weigh possible asset sales, including the possibility of selling Sparkle, its unit catering to other carriers and to corporate customers. Reportedly, the company will soon discuss the potential sale of its stake in Telecom Argentina. Telecom Italia recently sold its German unit, Hansenet, to Telefonica, and in a statement released Wednesday, the company said it has seen a somewhat improving, but still risky, environment for asset sales.

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal has more on the refinancing
- Reuters has this story on the possible Sparkle sale

Related articles
The Italian government has opposed full foreign ownership
Telecom Italia had said it would keep its TV network
Investor urges Telefonica takeover of Telecom Italia
2008 Year in Review: Telecom nuclear winter, Take 2

Suggested Articles

In order to help fuel its fiber ambitions in the Midwest, Everstream announced it has secured $342.5 million in debt financing from nine banks.

The winds of changes swept through IBM on Monday as the company named Howard Boville as the new head of its cloud business.

As Frontier Communications charts a course to a bankruptcy filing next week, the company regrets not spending more on fiber network upgrades.