BT hopes to sell two of its Italian businesses to TIM

News

The companies have signed a preliminary agreement for the sale of units serving SMEs and the public sector.

At long last, it looks like BT might offload some of its Italian assets as it continues to downsize its Global business, although BT stresses it “will retain a strong presence in Italy serving large enterprises and multinational companies”.

TIM and BT have announced they have signed a preliminary agreement for the acquisition of selected BT business units in Italy serving “public administration and Small & Medium Enterprises (SME)” by TIM.

The former provides communication services to a number of ministries and agencies of the national government, as well as regional and local governments. Previous negotiations for TIM to buy this unit came to nothing.

The SME Business Unit offers connectivity and cloud services to SMEs, of which there are a huge number throughout Italy.

Public digitalisation

The planned transaction of the Public Administration Unit will enable TIM to expand its supply of communication and connectivity services, accelerating digitalisation of the Italian Public Administration. With the planned integration of the Small & Medium Business unit, TIM says it will further diversify the offer of secure and efficient ICT and cloud solutions for small and medium businesses.

The agreement also includes customer support for the SME Business Unit, delivered by BT’s Palermo Contact Center. 

The two business units included in the planned transaction generated revenues of approximately €90 million during the fiscal year ended in March 2020.

The planned transaction is subject to consultations with trade unions required by law and the competent authorities’ clearance. It is expected to complete by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

An accounting scandal in BT’s Italian operations, which came to light in 2016, triggered a long period of decline at the UK’s incumbent. This year its market capitalisation dropped to £10 billion, and there was speculation BT was takeover target.