Italian Right Plans to Take Telecom Italia Private, Halve Debt

Italy’s far-right Brothers of Italy party, which is leading polls ahead of snap elections next month, is promoting a plan to take Telecom Italia SpA private and sell off the phone company’s assets in a bid to cut its debt pile by more than half, people familiar with the matter said. The shares jumped.

The group would encourage a takeover bid by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, then sell about 30 million of Telecom Italia’s mobile and landline subscribers to competitors for about 13 billion euros ($13.4 billion), the people said, asking not to be identified because the plan is private. The state would also sell the phone company’s Brazilian unit for about 4 billion euros, they said.