Last week’s board meeting resignation of Franco Bernabè as executive chairman of the fraught Telecom Italia was no surprise to analysts. Bernabè’s resignation was the outcome of a meeting intended to help summon a business plan that could protect the credit rating of the besieged company, but whether it in itself provides any kind of answer or solution is doubtful.
“Bernabe’s resignation does not come as a surprise given the alleged differences between his views and Telefonica’s over the future of Telecom Italia especially with regards to the international assets,” says Dario Talmesio, Principal Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media. Those “alleged differences” resulted in a €6.6m severance package, and seemingly originated in Mr Bernabè’s support for stock being issued in order to raise up to €5bn to help reduce a net debt of close to €30bn.
This leaves the company confronted with the other path “Whoever inherits TI must decide on how to deal with its huge level of debt;” Talmesio concludes, “ this time around, it could be more likely that a disposal of international assets will be more positively considered.”
Regardless of the change of executive, it would appear that TI still has plenty to decide and do.