In a bold move to reshape the UK’s broadband landscape, VMO2, backed by shareholders Liberty Global and Telefónica, has announced the launch of a new fixed network company, ambitiously positioned as a direct competitor to BT’s Openreach. Dubbed NetCo for now, this venture aims to accelerate the adoption of full fibre broadband, offering a fresh financing framework and a potential platform for the consolidation of alternative network providers (altnets).
Golden opportunity or a hasty gamble? KKR’s pursuit to acquire Telecom Italia’s anticipated NetCo has been met with challenges from Vivendi, TIM’s largest shareholder. Confronting the complexity of separate asset sales and the valuation tug-of-war, it’s clear there’s more to this story than meets the eye.
The Italian government’s decision to acquire a stake in TIM’s NetCo operation could smooth the path for its sale. Undoubtedly, this move will give the government a stronger voice in future strategic decisions. Despite initial concerns regarding the re-nationalization of certain telecom assets, the involvement of the state-owned Cassa Depositi e Prestiti in the process and the pending approval from the EU suggest that there is a potential for a favorable outcome for TIM. Yet, potential hurdles include the disagreement over asset valuation with the French firm Vivendi.
Wyre, the newly rebranded joint venture between Telenet and Fluvius, gears up for next month’s network rollout with a focus on upgrading hybrid fiber-coaxial networks to fiber-to-the-home, aiming for 78% footprint expansion in Flanders by 2038.