Telecom Italia (NYSE:TI)
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ROME--Telecom Italia SpA (TI) will only proceed with a spinoff of its network into a new company, probably with state-backed Cassa Deposit e Prestiti, if there are "significant regulatory advantages," Chairman Franco Bernabe said in an interview with Rome daily Il Messaggero published Monday.
"There has to be a strong incentive both for the network company that will be created and for the company that remains," Mr. Bernabe said.
Telecom Italia's board agreed Thursday to explore the possibility of a spinoff of the network, which would allow all service providers equal access to the country's fixed-line hardware.
That approval is based on the company's "hope" that European Communications Commissioner Nellie Kroes will issue new regulatory recommendations in the next few weeks, Mr. Bernabe said.
He said Telecom Italia expects to reduce its group debt to closer to EUR27.5 billion ($35.54 billion) by the end of the year, a level he said showed it was no longer "urgent" to reduce debt--which a spinoff of the network would help achieve.
Newspaper Web site: www.ilmessaggero.it
Rome Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +39 06 6976 6920