April 29, 2016 / 12:47 PM / 2 years ago

Telecom Italia seeks two-thirds majority in JV with Metroweb

ROME, April 29 (Reuters) - Talks between Telecom Italia and fibre network group Metroweb are proceeding quickly and could lead to the creation of a joint venture in which the Italian phone group would have at least a two-thirds majority, its chairman said on Friday.

Controlling Metroweb, currently in the hands of state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and infrastructure fund F2i, would boost heavily-indebted Telecom Italia’s efforts to roll out ultrafast broadband across Italy and put it in a stronger position to rival utility Enel, which has announced its own plans for fibre network deployment.

Telecom Italia chairman Giuseppe Recchi also said the group plans to raise the targets in its 2016-18 business plan regarding profitability and speed of investments when its board, including newly appointed CEO Flavio Cattaneo, meets on May 13.

The company is considering management changes at its Brazilian unit TIM Participacoes “as you do when a company enters a turnaround phase”, he said, adding that the whole board supported that move.

Recchi added that the phone group may set a new deadline and seek additional bidders for a stake in its tower unit INWIT , other than the two offers it has already received from the F2i-Cellnex consortium and EI Towers . (Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Isla Binnie)

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