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Report: CK Hutchison weighs Italy mobile towers sale in potential US$1B deal

CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. is considering options for its mobile phone towers in Italy, including a potential sale that could value the portfolio at about US$1 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The conglomerate, which tapped advisers for a strategic review of the business, is reportedly eyeing the start of a formal sale process before the end of 2018. Talks, however, are at an early stage and may not necessarily lead to a deal.

CK Hutchison is weighing, among others, an outright sale of the entire portfolio or divesting a minority stake, depending on the assets that will be ultimately included in the potential transaction. The assets could attract bids from investment funds and wireless infrastructure companies, the sources told Bloomberg News.

The Hong Kong-based company is replenishing its cash balance after spending €2.45 billion to acquire VEON Ltd.'s 50% stake in Wind Tre SpA. The Italian mobile operator is facing increasing headwinds with a decrease in mobile subscribers and possibly heightened competition with the entry of France's Iliad SA, according to the report.