BARCELONA, Spain Nov 20 (Reuters) - Swisscom Chief Executive Urs Schaeppi said the group was a happy owner of its Italian broadband unit Fastweb and would continue to invest in the company which sources have said might be up for sale.
“It’s a constant factor that in Italy there are rumours. Lots of rumours. We are happy owners of Fastweb,” Schaeppi said at a Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecoms Conference in Barcelona on Thursday.
Sources familiar with the situation said this month Swisscom was considering selling the unit, which is worth up to 5 billion euros ($6.3 billion) and has been a target for Vodafone.
“We have invested in the (Fastweb) network and we’ll do it in the future. We are able to increase value for Fastweb. That is our way forward,” Schaeppi added.
Schaeppi also said Fastweb was thinking how to improve its position in the mobile market where it has 2 million subscribers.
Fastweb was founded in 1999 as an alternative broadband provider for the municipality of Milan. Its network now aims to reach 7.5 million households by the end of 2016, or 27 percent of Italy’s population, a competitive threat to former monopoly Telecom Italia.
1 US dollar = 0.7976 euro Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle