Italian PM wants “details” on TI reorganisation

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said Tuesday that he was “surprised” by the scale of Telecom Italia’s (TI) reorganisation, announced Monday, and warned that the government is seeking more details.

According to reports in the Italian press, Prodi said the government wants to know “the details and motivation” of the deal.

The reports suggest Prodi had discussed the reorganisation almost a fortnight ago with TI’s chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera. Observers believe Provera did not reveal the full extent of the move during the conversation.

It is understood that Prodi is not alone in his concern. Mario Lettieri, undersecretary at the economy ministry, is reported to have said he has reservations about the deal and its ramifications for the Italian economy.

Yesterday, TI announced a major reorganisation to split its fixed-line and mobile businesses into two new companies.

The reorganisation is designed, the company said, to help it sharpen its focus on broadband and media activities both at home and across Europe.

Speculation has raged around whether the firm would, as part or the reorganisation, sell off of its mobile arm, TIM. On Sunday the Italian daily, Il Sole 24 Ore, said TI could raise Eur 35bn if it sold its mobile unit and Eur 6bn from its Brazilian arm. The sales, so the speculation goes, could ease the company’s Eur 40bn debt.

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