Saturday, 20 October 2018

TIM admits assets sales still an option

By Mary Lennighan, for Total Telecom
Tuesday 25 September 18

Board reportedly looking at Nextel buy in Brazil, confirms abolition of chief commercial officer role

TIM this week revealed that its board of directors is still analysing the possibility of selling off certain assets. The Italian incumbent's board met on Monday to look further at both investing in new assets and selling off non-core businesses, TIM said. The directors had similar discussions at a meeting two months ago…

TIM this week revealed that its board of directors is still analysing the possibility of selling off certain assets.

The Italian incumbent's board met on Monday to look further at both investing in new assets and selling off non-core businesses, TIM said. The directors had similar discussions at a meeting two months ago, it added.

TIM said the options open to it will be "subject to further discussions and subsequent decisions." It did not provide any more detail.

The announcement comes after Bloomberg last week reported that TIM was considering making an offer for Brazilian mobile operator Nextel with a view to gaining spectrum and boosting its market share. The newswire, which cited unnamed sources, said TIM CEO Amos Genish could present the plan at Monday's board meeting.

TIM is one of Brazil's big four mobile operators. According to data supplied by regulator Anatel, it ranked third at the end of May, behind Vivo and Claro, with a market share of 24.3%, but the addition of Nextel's customer base would push it into second place; Nextel serves around 1.3% of the market.

The newswire noted that a spectrum cap in Brazil has effectively blocked consolidation in Brazil, but said Anatel has confirmed that a proposal for a change to the cap is currently being analysed by its legal department.

As has been widely reported in recent months, Bloomberg's sources listed wholesale business Sparkle and media outfit Persidera as assets that TIM could look to sell off. The telco may also seek to divest a stake in towers business Inwit.

TIM, meanwhile, said its board had acknowledged its new organisational structure at Monday's meeting, which comes about as a result of its decision to abolish the chief commercial officer role.

The telco announced the resignation of CCO Pietro Scott Jovane earlier this month, citing "personal reasons." The news came less than six months after Jovane joined the company.

TIM has created two new management roles: director of the chief business and top clients office, and director of the chief consumer and small enterprise office. The former business role will be carried out by Lorenzo Forina who joined Telecom Italia in 2013 as a consumer marketing head but moved to the business division two years ago, while the consumer role goes to Stefano Azzi, who has been responsible for the telco's consumer and small business arm for the past two years.

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