February 7, 2020 / 8:34 AM / in 15 days

Enel has no plans to sell Open Fiber stake: CEO in Boersen-Zeitung

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Italian multinational energy company Enel is seen at the Milan's headquarter, Italy, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Italy’s Enel (ENEI.MI) has no plans to sell its 50% stake in Italian fibre-optic group Open Fiber, its chief executive told a German newspaper.

Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) is seeking to merge its own fibre-optic assets with Open Fiber but its efforts to bring in investment funds to help the telecom group buy Enel’s stake in Open Fiber have stalled, sources said last month.

State lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti owns the other half of Open Fiber.

“We don’t feel under pressure to sell. We’re very satisfied with our stake in Open Fiber and are also planning to invest in fibre optic networks in other countries now, above all in South America,” Enel CEO Francesco Starace told Boersen-Zeitung.

“We’re seeing synergies in this participation and have no intention at all to part with our stake in Open Fiber, whose value has grown significantly.”

Telecom Italia in December asked infrastructure funds to evaluate an investment in a combined fibre-optic entity. Big funds, including Ardian, Macquarie (MQG.AX), Wren House Infrastructure, Allianz (ALVG.DE), Goldman Sachs (GS.N), KKR (KKR.N) and Brookfield (BAMa.TO) tabled their non-binding bids before Christmas, a source with knowledge of the matter has told Reuters.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Paul Carrel

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