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March 27, 1988

ITALY TO MERGE STATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS OPERATING COMPANIES INTO STET

By CBR Staff Writer

The next move in the long-overdue restructuring of the Italian telecommunications infrastructure – badly blown off course when the proposed merger of Italtel SpA and Telettra SpA fell apart will be to turn STET SpA, presently only a holding company, into the national telecommunications carrier by merging it with its three present telecommunications operator subsidiaries. Under the plan, SIP, Societa Italiana per l’Esercizio Delle Telecommuniazioni SpA, the national internal phone company; Italcable SpA, the international carrier; and Societa per Azioni per le Communicazioni Spaziali SpA for satellite communications, will all be merged into STET. The two manufacturing companies, Italtel SpA and Sirti SpA will remain majority-owned subsidiaries of STET but will not be merged into it. The downside is that the plan will need parliamentary approval, and according to an insider tapped by the Wall Street Journal, could take several years to implement. One issue is the outside shareholders in SIP and Italcable, a minority in each of which is traded on Milan’s Stock Exchange.

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