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TIM directors empower CEO to negotiate sparkle deal with treasury

Telecom Italia directors on Wednesday mandated CEO Pietro Labriola to negotiate with the Treasury over a new offer for submarine cable unit Sparkle after deciding a proposed full takeover bid was too low.

Under the new potential structure of the deal, TIM would keep a minority stake in Sparkle for a certain period, with a potential price increase.

Last week, the Treasury submitted a bid for Sparkle, whose network extends over 600,000 km and transmits information between countries in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Americas.

Sources have previously said the offer was worth up to 750 million euros ($807 million), including debt and variable components, below a valuation of 900 million euros TIM pegged for the unit.

The sale of Sparkle is part of CEO Labriola’s plan to part ways with the former phone monopoly’s fixed network assets to cut its debt pile.
In November, TIM agreed to sell its domestic fixed-line network to KKR in a deal worth up to 22 billion euros, a move supported by the Italian government. Reuters

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