Telecom Italia announces that today it reached an agreement with the BS Investimenti IV Fund, BSBS Private Equity and other private shareholders for the acquisition of a 71% stake in the share capital of the 4G Holding SpA company for an outlay of around €8.3 million.
The remaining 29% of the company will remain under the ownership of GIR Srl, a company controlled by the current Chief Executive Officer, who will remain in his position after the acquisition as the result of a specific governance agreement with Telecom Italia.
The acquisition will be completed through 100% Telecom Italia subsidiary TLC Commercial Services once it receives a go-ahead from the Italian Anti-Trust Authority.
4GH is Italy’s largest chain of specialist telephony industry retailers, with some 200 outlets in Italy’s largest shopping centres. One hundred and fifty of these stores already have a TIM franchising contract. Last year the 4GH Group posted revenues of around €140 million.
Telecom Italia Chief Operating Officer Marco Patuano said: “This acquisition enables Telecom Italia to strengthen its position in the specialist retail of devices for telephony through direct, ongoing control of a strategic asset that will guarantee the company access to Italy’s largest retail markets. Moreover,” Patuano highlighted, “this move enables Telecom Italia to get even closer to its customers by expanding its on-the-ground presence. Our objective is to boost the take-up of mobile broadband, which is destined to become a mass-market phenomenon now that the internet is a reality on mobile phones.”
Market interest in mobile broadband was confirmed at the Consumer Convention held last Monday in Vienna. Telecom Italia dealers placed orders for more than 1.9 million products including mobile phones, PCs, tablets and USB keys, of which some 700 thousand are smartphones.
Rome, 12 May 2011