Rai Way confirms it has made a binding bid for Italian telco’s Persidera unit

Italy’s Rai Way has made a bid for Persidera, the broadcasting business majority owned by telecoms incumbent TIM.

In a short statement on Tuesday in response to media speculation, Rai Way said it has "submitted a binding offer to Persidera’s shareholders, subject to certain conditions, for the acquisition of its network infrastructure and related activities."

It did not give any indication of the value of its bid, nor did it provide any further details on the matter.

Citing an unnamed source, Reuters speculated that the offer is likely similar to a bid Rai Way and infrastructure fund F2i made for Persidera earlier this year, which valued it at around €250 million.

In February TIM’s board of directors gave chief executive Amos Genish the go-ahead to sell the asset, adding that he should also "consider any further offers, should one be made."

Since then the telco has indicated on a number of occasions that it is pushing ahead with the Persidera sale, but provided few additional details. However, according to Reuters, U.S. infrastructure fund I Squared Capital also made a non-binding offer, valuing the company at around €290 million.

The newswire this week said I Squared Capital has also revised its bid, but was unable to put a figure on it.

According to Reuters’ sources, Rai Way’s revised offer excludes Persidera’s five digital TV service bundles, since the firm has five bundles of its own and therefore a takeover would contravene antitrust regulations.

Rai Way owns broadcasting towers and infrastructure across Italy and serves as network operator for Italian national broadcaster RAI.

TIM holds a 70% stake in Persidera, with the other 30% in the hands of Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso.

It is in the process of analysing its options for the sale of non-core assets, including Persidera. On Monday the telco’s board met to discuss the sale of certain assets and the possibility of investing in others. Various media reports have named Brazil’s Nextel as a possible acquisition target.