Iliad paves the way for fixed telephony in Italy: it becomes the first shareholder of Unieuro with 12% of the share capital
After revolutionizing the mobile market, Iliad is aiming at fixed telephony and it does so by passing through Unieuro. The telephone operator has announced that it has acquired 12% of Unieuro's share capital, thus becoming the majority shareholder.
The two companies had already been working together for two years, when Iliad Simboxes were set up in 200 of Unieuro's 500 points of sale distributed throughout Italy. The phone operator's customers could then go to the physical stores of Unieuro, Italy's leading seller of electronic products and home appliances, and purchase their own SIM. Now preparing to make the leap into fixed-line telephony, the operator has decided to invest in Unieuro, with which Iliad Italia CEO Benedetto Levi says he shares core values, such as a willingness to innovate, an entrepreneurial spirit and a focus on quality relationships with consumers and users.
Iliad enters Unieuro and becomes first shareholder
The telecommunications group Iliad was founded by Xavier Niel and in 2021, after a fruitful collaboration with Unieuro, decided to invest and acquire 12% of its share capital, becoming in fact the first shareholder. The announcement came in a press release from the phone operator, which explained that it acquired the shares through Iliad Holding S.p.A. and Iliad S.A..
After arriving in Italy at the end of May 2018, in just two years Iliad has reached a total of 7.24 million subscribers, about 9% of the mobile market in the country. Unieuro, on the other hand, closed its preliminary financial statements on February 28, 2021, which are still being approved by the statutory auditors, but which already show a new record revenue of around 2.7 billion euros, for a growth of about 9.8% in the last year.
Both companies are therefore preparing to reap results from this new venture, as also witnessed by CEO Levi, who said, "We are happy to enter the capital of Unieuro to accompany them in their long-term growth. We appreciate the Unieuro team and share with them fundamental values: a constant will to innovate, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a real attention to the quality of the relationship with users and consumers".
Iliad and Unieuro: what changes
The collaboration between Iliad and Unieuro was born 2 years ago, when in 200 of the 500 stores of the chain of home appliance stores appeared the Simboxes of the operator. The two brands have been associated ever since, as new Iliad subscribers could conveniently use the Simboxes to get their own SIM and start using it, without having to order it online and wait for delivery. While there are no explicit references to Iliad's intentions to open its own fixed-line offering, for many, the move to become Unieuro's main shareholder is yet another step towards expanding the phone operator's offering.