Vodafone Italia indicated an interest in acquiring a 10 per cent stake in Metroweb, the owner of the largest fibre-optic network in Milan, according to a report in Corriere delle Comunicazioni.
Vodafone Italia CEO Paolo Bertoluzzo told the Italian that his company's involvement would see Metroweb's operations undergo rapid expansion to cover Italy's 100 largest cities, starting from its fibre hub in Milan. A Vodafone spokeswoman confirmed his comments, according to Bloomberg.
Bertoluzzo said that he would be willing to support this expansion by Metroweb, adding that it would be "unrealistic, as well as uneconomical, for each operator to develop its own fibre network." He acknowledged that deploying this size of network over the next five years was ambitious, and would require a total investment of around €5 billion.
Metroweb was acquired from the London-based private equity firm Stirling Square Capital Partners by IMI Investimenti and infrastructure fund F2i for €436 million in May. Swisscom-owned Fastweb agreed in October to acquire an 11 per cent holding in Metroweb.
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