Published in Network

The Italian company which nearly bought Apple is in trouble

by on18 July 2023

I am an enchanter people call me TIM 

The Italian telco which once nearly bought Apple is running aground.

Telecom Italia, who some call TIM, which is a former telephone monopoly, once pitched a plan to buy Apple 25 years ago when it could not make head way against IBM.

At the time Telecom Italia, on the other hand, was flying high, ranking as the world's sixth-largest telephone company by sales. Worth about $100 billion, it had minimal debt, held stakes in dozens of tech groups around the world and employed more than 120,000 people. It truly knew the difference between an African and European swallow.

Now, the carrier is burdened by more than 30 billion euros in gross debt. It controls just one company outside its domestic market -- Brazil's third largest phone operator -- and it employs only a third as many people as it did when its executives made their pitch to Jobs.

Telecom Italia now finds itself in the position of needing to sell off its landline network just to get its debt pile under control. The sale would be a transformational deal and, if successful, the first such divestiture for a European carrier.

Apple does not seem interested, and a likely buyer is private equity outfit KKR & Co. With progress being made toward a disposal of the Network,

The carrier's service unit, basically all that would remain of Telecom Italia after a network selloff, would itself probably need to weigh a transformational deal with a tech company to guarantee its competitive footprint, she added.

Still, on the bright side, TIM will not ever be a party to lowering the standards of the world by owning Apple and will never be a truly evil enchanter.


Last modified on 18 July 2023
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