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Swisscom bids €3.7bn for Fastweb

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Swisscom, the former state telecommunications monopoly, has announced plans to acquire Italy's second-largest broadband operator, Fastweb, in a deal valued at €3.7bn ($4.9bn).

The all-cash friendly takeover offer values Fastweb at €47 per share ($61.70), a premium of more than 10 per cent on €42.02 on their current price.

In a statement, the Fastweb board gave the proposed offer the thumbs up saying it provided "good development opportunities" for Italy's second-largest telecoms firm, AP reports.

Fastweb boasts 1.1 million subscribers and was the first firm in Italy to offer a package combining voice, data and video services over high-speed broadband connections. Swisscom is looking to expand overseas in a bid to escape the confines of a moribund domestic telecoms markets, Reuters adds.

Swisscom made a bid for the Republic of Ireland's Eircom in 2005 but this bid was blocked by the Swiss government. Now the former Swiss telecoms monopoly is casting its eye over the Alps for possible expansion.

Swisscom's interest in Fastweb emerged on Monday after two potential rival suitors - Vodafone and Sky Italia - indicated they weren't interested in tying the knot with Fastweb. ®

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