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Italy’s Wind Tre plans network spin-off, eyes M&A deals

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 0001.HK, 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. Nasdaq

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