Swisscom secures Fastweb

Swisscom has taken control of the Italian broadband and IPTV provider Fastweb in a deal that went right down to the wire. The Italian stock exchange announced on Tuesday Swisscom had managed to acquire 82.1% of the Italian company at €3.1 billion, and a further €1.1 billion in debt, despite having failed to reach 50% only 24 hours earlier.

“We are very pleased that so many shareholders have accepted our offer,” said Swisscom CEO Carsten Schloter in a statement. “We can now start working on our vision of a successful Swiss-Italian partnership.”

Despite being weighed down by debt, Swisscom is prepared to let Fastweb continue as an independent unit. It might also be able to learn something from its purchase, given that Fastweb has been offering TV over the Internet since 2001, while Swisscom’s Bluwin is still in its infancy.