Something is moving in the house Telecom Italia. The president of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Giovanni Gorno Tempini, will join the board of the former monopolist of which CDP owns about 10 per cent. In this way, with the renewal of the board of directors envisaged with the 2020 budget, the financial arm of the state will finally be represented within the board of the telephone company as requested in recent days by the chairman of the Supervisory Commission on Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Sestino Giacomoni (Fi) and the deputy Stefano Fassina (Leu).
On the market, some investors have read the news as an important step forward in the creation of the only company in the network that should be born from the merger between the Telecom subsidiary, FiberCop, e Open Fiber, in which Cdp and theEnel. At this point, the group led by Fabrizio Palermo will have to decide whether to exercise the option right on the share (50%) of Open Fiber put up for sale by Enel and for which the company led by Francesco Starace has already received a purchase offer from the Australian fund Macquarie. So far Cdp has taken time, but the pre-emption on the Enel share it expires on Thursday 25 February. And it is not excluded that the negotiation may also concern only a part of the stake not exceeding 10 percent.
Certainly the Telecom shareholders, including the French of Vivendi, have every intention of pushing hard so that the marriage between FiberCop and Open Fiber goes through as soon as possible. And the confirmation also comes from the fact that, unanimously, the board presented a list of ten names for the renewal of the board. Among these, in addition to the ad Luigi Gubitosi and to the president Salvatore Rossi, even the French Franck Cadoret e Arnaud de Puyfontaine, expression of the shareholder Vivendi, who is also a shareholder of Mediaset. The interest of all is, moreover, to strengthen Telecom by avoiding duplication of investments in the construction of the new generation network, essential for the relaunch of the country. The problem, however, is that Telecom would like 51% of the network company that will incorporate both FiberCop and Open Fiber. With the risk of re-creating a dominant position on the market to the detriment of other operators.
While waiting for the single network project to take off, the Telecom board approved the new one strategic plan 2021-2023. The guidelines of the 2020-2022 project have been confirmed and the financial objectives have been improved. In addition, the board confirmed the distribution policy of dividends equal to one cent for ordinary shares and € 2.75 for savings shares. However, in the period in question, the board acknowledged that revenues are expected to be broadly stable or slightly growing despite the former monopolist’s commitment to acquiring new customers with broadband development. “FiberCop will reach the 76% of the real estate units in the gray and black areas by 2025 (56% of technical real estate units nationwide). At the same time the FTTC networks (fiber to the cabinet, fiber to the street cabinet) will reach 93% of households with an active telephone line by 2023 (91% already today) to which are added the coverage with mobile, FWA and satellite technology – explains a note from the group -. The first three regions for which the digital divide will be “closed” are, after Puglia (completed in 2020), the Friuli-Venezia Giulia ein the first quarter of 2021 and Lombardy thereafter ”. In the mobile segment, Telecom has announced its national 5G coverage target by 2025.