American Tower, Abertis Said to Bid for VimpelCom’s Italy AssetsDaniele Lepido
American Tower Corp. and Abertis Infraestructuras SA are among bidders for the mobile-phone towers of VimpelCom Ltd.’s Italian division, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
EI Towers SpA, the company controlled by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset SpA, also submitted a non-binding offer, as did investment fund F2i SGR SpA, which is bidding together with Providence Equity Partners Inc., said the people, asking not to be identified because the details are confidential.
Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA, Italy’s third-largest wireless carrier controlled by VimpelCom, is selling about 6,000 transmission towers. The asset is valued at as much as 700 million euros ($870 million), one of the people said.
“The process with towers is ongoing but we can’t name the potential buyers due to non-disclosure agreement,” VimpelCom said in an e-mailed statement. Last month, VimpelCom said it failed to reach a 50-50 venture agreement in Italy, in what could have created the country’s biggest wireless provider by customers.
Representatives for Boston-based American Tower, Barcelona-based Abertis, Lissone, Italy-based EI Towers, Milan-based F2i and Rhode Island-based Providence all declined to comment.
Divesting wireless towers would generate proceeds that carriers can use to invest in network upgrades. Telecom Italia SpA, which provides mobile-phone services in Brazil as well as Italy, is also selling its towers in the two countries. Cell Site Solutions Cessao de Infraestruturas SA, a company backed by Goldman Sach Group Inc., and American Tower have expressed interest for the Brazilian assets, people familiar with the matter said in May.