Macquarie and CDP win EU approval for Open Fiber acquisition

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australia's biggest investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd adorns the main entrance to their Sydney office headquarters in Australia
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Australia's biggest investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd adorns the main entrance to their Sydney office headquarters in Australia, October 28, 2016. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

November 11, 2021

MILAN (Reuters) – The acquisition of broadband network company Open Fiber by Italy’s state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and Australian fund Macquarie has won EU regulatory approval, a filing on the European Commission website showed on Thursday.

The deal does not raise serious doubts over its compatibility with the common market, the EU antitrust watchdog said, confirming what sources told Reuters on Monday.

State-controlled Enel and CDP currently have joint control of Open Fiber, which had been set up for the rollout of fibre optic cables to help Italy to catch up with the rest of Europe.

The deal will increase CDP’s Open Fiber stake by 10% to 60% while Macquarie will acquire 40%.

The approval could help with a long-mooted plan to merge Open Fiber’s network with that of Telecom Italia (TIM), sources told Reuters on Monday.

CDP is TIM’s second-biggest shareholder behind French media company Vivendi, which some analysts had viewed as a potential complication in gaining EU approval for the Open Fiber deal.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by David Goodman)