Telecom Italia Group, Endesa, Unión Fenosa and Santander Central Hispano (SCH) have reached an agreement, subject to customary corporate and regulatory approvals, for the sale of Telecom Italia Group´s 26.89 per cent stake (of which Telecom Italia holds 23.08% through Stet International Netherlands and Tim holds 3.81% through Stet Mobile Holding) in Spanish telecommunications operator Auna Operadores de Telecomunicaciones, S.A. (´Auna´).
Telecom Italia Group is selling its stake at a price of €2 billion, representing a total equity value of Auna of €7.437 billion.
The agreement foresees, a preemption right in Telecom Italia´s favor, if the buyers sell within 2 years, as well as a success fee for SCH, entailing a related total cost of €150 million. Telecom Italia Group will receive net proceeds of €1.85 billion.
Telecom Italia Group will register a consolidated net capital gain of €1.14 billion.
The sale of this minority holding in Auna has been undertaken in the context of Telecom Italia´s new industrial plan, which aims as a guideline, to focus on strategic core business and the disposal of activities in which it does not hold control. This strategy will significantly reduce Telecom Italia´s indebtedness, further strengthening the Group´s solid financial position.
Marco Tronchetti Provera, Chairman of Telecom Italia stated: "We are rapidly implementing the guidelines of the strategic and financial plan announced at the end of September, which focuses on the disposal of non strategic activities for a total of €6 billion in 24 months. The Olivetti share capital increase and convertible bond was a complete success, raising around €4 billion on the market. Today we reached an agreement in Spain with a value of €2 billion, which is yet another encouraging step forward after the sale a few days ago of our stakes in former satellite consortia companies for €450 million. Negotiations are underway for the sale of other non strategic assets. The sale of the minority stake in Auna - concluded Marco Tronchetti Provera - represents the first move in the process of the reorganization of Telecom Italia´s international portfolio, aimed at selling activities of a generally financial nature, which do not allow for an active management of the subsidiary".
Auna is the first Spanish fully integrated telecommunications operator, with presence in fixed telephony and data transmission (Retevisión); mobile telephony (Amena); Internet (eresMas); and cable (Madritel, Menta, Able, Supercable Andalucía and Telecom Canarias). Auna is also present in the DTT industry through a 49 per cent stake in Quiero TV. At 31 October 2001, Auna had total -revenues of €1,833 million and an EBITDA of €57 million. At 31 August 2001 Auna registered 7.3 million active clients.
With a market capitalization above EUR 49 bn and revenues of €29 bn , Telecom Italia Group is one of the leading European telecom operators, leader in the Italian market and a prominent player worldwide in the fields of wireline & wireless telephony, Internet, media and satellite communications. The Group has a worldwide presence in 19 countries through companies operating in wireline and wireless telephony.