Inwit (Infrastrutture Wireless Italiane) spa stock aligned itself yesterday in Piazza Affari with the sale price of the 8.6% stake just sold by Tim and Vodafone in an accelerated book-building process reserved to institutional investors. BofA Securities, Banca Imi, Goldman Sachs International and UBS acted as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners.
The stock closed at 10.73 euros on Wednesday 22 April, while yesterday it closed at 9.8 euros. Tim yesterday morning announced that it had sold 41.7 million Inwit shares equal to about 4.3% of the share capital, at the price of 9.60 euros per share, collecting 400 million euros. The same stake was sold by Vodafone, with an increase in the Inwit free float of more than one third. The stakes of Tim and Vodafone thus fell from 37.2% to 33.2% each (see Tim’s press release here). In line with market practice, Vodafone and Tim have entered into a lock-up commitment on the residual shares directly and indirectly in Inwit for a period of 90 days from the settlement date of the transaction.
The company that owns Tim’s mobile phone towers listed on Piazza Affari, at the end of March merged with Vodafone Towers srl, the company that owns Vodafone’s mobile phone towers (see the press release here). The go-ahead from the European Commission had come in early March (see here a previous article by BeBeez). The integration of the passive network infrastructures of Inwit and Vodafone Italia creates the second largest listed towerco in Europe, with a portfolio of over 22 thousand towers.
Tim and Vodafone had announced that after the integration they would drop to 50.1%, that is to say about 25% each of the capital of the new Inwit, and it is for this purpose that they were looking for a bank between the funds. As for Tim, it had been explained in a conference call in March, he had to sell 12.4% of the new Inwit for which he intended to collect about one billion euros. The teasers had started in late January, when the first names of interested funds circulating were those of Ardian Infrastructure (in partnership with Credit Agricole Assurances and Canson Capital Partners) and F2i (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Subsequently, KKR was also mentioned as one of the funds concerned. However, now, due to coronavirus, the operation with the funds is in stand-by and in the meantime Tim and Vodafone have decided to start monetizing part of their respective stakes on the market. Also because the performance of the Inwit stock has been very strong in recent months (+ 30% since the beginning of the year) and therefore market prices have become competitive with those offered by the funds, which moreover by definition would also have required their stake in the company governance.