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UPDATE 1-Italy's Wind in talks with Abertis over $900 mln phone masts sale -sources
February 5, 2015 / 12:52 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Italy's Wind in talks with Abertis over $900 mln phone masts sale -sources

(Adds detail, valuation)

By Massimo Gaia and Claudia Cristoferi

MILAN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Italian mobile phone operator Wind is in exclusive talks to sell its towers to Spain’s Abertis , several sources close to the matter said on Thursday, with another source close to Wind saying the deal is almost done.

The talks with Wind, which is controlled by Amsterdam-based Vimpelcom and is selling to reduce debt, will remain exclusive for less than a week and a deal is expected to be signed soon afterwards, one of the sources said.

Under a draft deal that two of the sources said could be worth about 800 million euros ($915 million), Abertis would buy 90 percent of a new company, to which more than 7,000 towers will be transferred, while Vimpelcom will keep 10 percent.

Abertis would ultimately aim to list its towers business Abertis Telecom Terrestre on the Madrid stock market, one of the sources added. In December Abertis said it was working on listing the business, possibly in the first half of 2015.

Vimpelcom and Abertis declined to comment.

Italian tower operator EI Towers as well as Italy’s F2i and U.S. fund Providence have all expressed interest in Wind’s towers. ($1 = 0.8747 euros) (Additional reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London, Robert Hetz in Madrid and Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Paola Arosio and David Goodman)

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