The Italian government has rejected a EUR1.23 billion bid by Silvio Berlusconi’s EI Tower for a 51% stake in the state’s transmitter company RAIWay.

The state will hold on to a majority stake in the company due to “the strategic importance of the infrastructure,” according to the country’s Economic Development Ministry.

Under a September decree, at least 51% of RAIWay has to remain under the control of state broadcaster Rai.

EI Tower’s bod consists of EUR851 million inc ash, with the remaining EUR374 million in EI stock. Berlusconi’s Elettronica Industriale owns 40$ of EI Towers, while BlackRock is the second largest investor with 10.3%.

The aim was to “create a single operator of broadcasting towers in Italy,” said Mediaset. RAIWay was listed on the Milan stock exchange in November in an IPO that valued the company at around EUR 800million and left Rai with a controlling stake of 65%.