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.