Italy's CDP and partners put TIM network bid plan on hold

Image Source: Reuters


MILAN (Reuters) - State lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), Macquarie Asset Management and Open Fiber will not submit a bid for Telecom Italia's grid by the deadline scheduled on Wednesday, they said in a statement.

Championed by the previous government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the offer was part of a broader project to combine the network assets of Telecom Italia (TIM) <TLIT.MI> with those of smaller rival Open Fiber to create a national broadband champion under CDP's control.

Such a plan met heavy reservations from new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's right-wing administration, which decided to put CDP's bid on hold on Monday night, two government officials had told Reuters.

Industry Minister Adolfo Urso and cabinet undersecretary Alessio Butti have said Rome aims to kick off talks to set out by Dec. 31 the "best viable market solutions" in the interests of the country, the companies and their shareholders and stakeholders.

"CDP Equity, Macquarie Asset Management and Open Fiber express their readiness to take part in the government's proposed working group," the statement from the companies said.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina, writing by Gianluca Semeraro, editing by Cristina Carlevaro and Keith Weir)