Best corporate borrower
The company has successfully diversified its sources of funding in the past 12 months
| Reducing the debt burden
Net debt of Telecom Italia, €mn
Telecom Italia (TI) courted controversy when it became the first corporate to issue a 50-year bond in the euro-denominated market in March this year, but whatever the view on that issue, its benchmark offerings in sterling, dollars and euros, as well as its jumbo loan in the past year, have set important precedents for the company and the market. One of TI's treasury officials says its recent deals reflect the company's credit evolution since it merged with Olivetti and integrated Telecom Italia Mobile. "Before the merger with Olivetti, all our debt was in the euro market, but our strategy has been to diversify our funding. With our debut sterling and two dollar transactions, we have achieved this," he says. "In the same way, we have consistently made sure our bank loan transactions are syndicated to the biggest available group of quality international banks."
TI's €12 billion loan this January to fund its €20 billion purchase of the remaining minority stake of its mobile arm TIM, was a highlight of the loan market over the past 12 months.