Telecom Italia says advisors to look at network spinoff

MILAN, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Italy's largest telecoms groupTelecom Italia said on Wednesday it had asked advisorsto start assessing aspects of a possible spin-off of itsfixed-line access network.

Telecom Italia is in talks with state-backed financing bodyCassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) to move its valuable landlineinfrastructure into a separate company and boost badly-neededbroadband investment in Italy.

The telecoms company has started a beauty contest to pick upfinancial advisors for the planned spin-off, Italian daily IlMessaggero reported on Tuesday.

Banks must submit proposals by Oct. 15, the paper said.

"The company clarifies that in this preliminary phase suchadvisory activity is merely intended to acquire technical,economic and financial value elements," Telecom Italia said in astatement.

A network spin-off could help Telecom Italia reach its debtreduction targets and lower its 30.4 billion euro debt pile. Twobanking sources have told Reuters that the group was consideringappointing two banks to advise it on the mechanics of the deal.

The network has an estimated value of 9-15 billion euros.(Reporting By Danilo Masoni)


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