Telecom Italia Media sale stumbles
January 4, 2013
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
The disappointing financials of 2012 and the unsatisfactory bids received so far could complicate the planned sale of Telecom Italia’s media unit.
According to local media reports, the full-year losses at Telecom Italia Media may have reached €100 million (€53.8 million in Q3 2012), mainly due to lower than expected revenues. This means that the goals set at the beginning of last year – 13 per cent growth in turnover and reduction of debt of €27.5 billion by Telecom Italia – are unlikely to be met, as the group’s consolidated revenues dropped by 5.2 per cent to €160.7 million in the period January – September 2012.
The two potential bidders (Clessidra-Equinox consortium and Cairo Communications) have yet to offer a price deemed acceptable by Telecom Italia. The Board of Directors is set to informally evaluate on January 17th improved bids to those submitted on December 6th. At the time, Clessidra-Equinox offered €300 million for the TV channels (La7 and MTV Italia) and frequencies/multiplexes, while Cairo Communications bid €100 million only for the TV channels.
Rumours have also emerged of a possible alliance between the two bidders.
In addition, the upcoming auction of the 6 DTT multiplexes in Italy could have a negative impact on the market value of the three multiplexes currently operated by Telecom Italia Media.