Telecom Italia is said to have attracted strong interest in a planned sale of its Brazilian towers assets.
Indebted Telecom Italia is seeking offers in the region of USD1 billion for around 6,000 towers.
A Goldman Sachs backed company and American Tower are amongst several bidders who have expressed an interest in the towers.
“This move makes even more sense for Telecom Italia since I remain convinced the Italian operator sooner or later will exit the Brazilian market, and this is a potential first step in that direction.” Massimiliano Trovato, a media and telecommunications analyst at Bruno Leoni Institute told Bloomberg News.
Telecom Italia still needs to resolve the shareholder conflict of interest with its controlling shareholder, Telefonica which is also a competitor in Brazil, and while the Italian firm denies it, there is widespread expectation that it may be forced to sell its Brazilian subsidiary to pay down its massive debt mountain.
Telecom Italia expects to close bidding on the towers at the end of next week, and the negotiations for the sale should leave it with around 500 strategic towers that it wont be selling.