Telecom Italia’s board of directors has agreed to the spin-off of its 23 data centers into a separate business.

The company is now looking for external investors for the new venture when it begins operations in 2021.

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A render of a TIM data center in Rome, Italy – Lasia / Telecom Italia

Spinning into the clouds

DCD reported on TIM spinning off its data centers into a separate business last year, although at the time it was expected TIM would have agreed on the terms by Q1 2020. Instead, it appears TIM opted to establish itself in the cloud market first. It is working with Google Cloud as part of a strategic partnership, has acquired Italy's main Google Cloud reseller, and appointed ex-Google employee Carlo D’Asaro Biondo as the head of its cloud project.

TIM said the venture would develop under its strategic partnership with Google and that 2020 turnover is set to be around €500m ($590m), with an expected growth of over 20 percent per year. The news of the agreement was revealed in TIM's 2020 financial report.

In its original plan, TIM said that it was looking to raise €1bn ($1.1bn) from investors with TIM keeping majority control. The venture has yet to be named.

At the time the spin off was first mooted, the company’s debt stood at €29bn ($34bn), but now stands at around €25bn ($29bn). The fincancial report also revealed a five percent year-on-year decline in revenues to €3.9bn ($4.6bn) in Q3 2020, better than Q2’s 10 percent fall, following the hit from Covid-19.