Australian financial services business Macquarie Asset Management (ASX: MQG) and Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Equity (CDP) are set to receive the European Commission Competition Authority’s approval to acquire broadband network company Open Fiber, according to Reuters.
The European Commission is set to make a formal announcement this Wednesday, November 10.
Headquartered in Milan, Open Fiber is currently 50/50 owned by state-controlled Enel (MI: ENEI) and CDP.
Under the equity acquisition, Enel is to exit the business with Macquarie scoping a 40% stake for €2.12 billion (US$2.51 billion) whilst CDP will increase its share by 10%.
Founded in 2015, Open Fiber operates Italy’s largest fibre-to-the-home network, with more than 12 million households passed in more than 180 urban centres and more than 2,300 rural municipalities across the country.
Macquarie and CDP first announced the intention to take over Open Fiber last August.
Speaking on the deal, Jiri Zrust, senior managing director at Macquarie Asset Management, said: “Enhancing access to reliable, ultrafast broadband is key if households and businesses across Italy are to harness the significant opportunities presented by a more connected society and economy.
“We look forward to supporting the delivery of Italy’s next-generation digital infrastructure through our investment in Open Fiber, partnering with its talented workforce and CDP Equity to deliver first-class, open-access network infrastructure across Italy.”
Macquarie Asset Management has been investing in Italy since 2002. During that time, Macquarie-managed funds have supported the development and long-term operation of infrastructure essential to the Italian economy through investments in Hydro Dolomiti Energia, Società Gasdotti Italia, Renvico, and Aeroporti di Roma.
In June, Macquarie-managed funds agreed to acquire 88% of Autostrade per l’Italia in a consortium with CDP Equity and Blackstone Infrastructure Partners.