Telecom Italia today reached agreement with Pagine Italia SpA for the acquisition of the Pagine Utili directories unit, the flagship business of which is pagine tascabili (“Pocket Pages”) with 60,000 advertisers.
The deal involves no cash expenditure but a payment to Pagine Italia of 214.286 million SEAT ordinary shares held by Telecom Italia, corresponding to 1.9% of company stock.
Forecast to register 2002 revenues of 57 million euros and a gross operating result of approximately 9 million euros, this business is being transferred debt-free, with working capital of zero and a staff of approximately 150.
In the now wholly liberalized Italian directories market, in which complete and updated databases of fixed-line telephony subscribers are available free of charge to all carriers, this deal is of great significance as it equips the Telecom Italia Group with considerable technological and marketing know-how that will enable the company to strengthen its range of products. Once the formalities of the operation are completed, work will begin on the terms and conditions of merging the acquired business with Seat Pagine Gialle to produce the greatest possible value, following the model adopted in Great Britain with subsidiary company Thomson Directories.
Completion of this operation is subject to approval by the Italian Antitrust Authority.