Top Italian independent firms Labruna Mazziotti Segni and Bonelli Erede Pappalardo have taken the lead on the controversial reorganisation of the ?35bn (£23.74bn) Italian telecom giant Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM).

Parent company Telecom Italia is looking at separating the mobile and fixed-line telecoms businesses, which could eventually lead to the sale of TIM. Private equity groups such as Carlyle and Apax Partners have emerged as potential suitors for TIM, which is worth approximately ?35bn (£23.68bn).

Labruna is advising the company’s board and Bonelli is advising the competition body Antitrust.

Labruna name partner Antonio Segni has close ties with TIM, developing the client relationship while he was head of capital markets at Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners.

Segni formed his breakaway finance boutique Labruna with three other partners at the start of the year. He and his firm are in a good position to advise TIM on any potential sale.

Market rumours of a sale have grown so strong that Telecom Italia’s board of directors was forced to release a statement. It read: “With regard to the mobile business, Italian and foreign (Brazil), the company repeats that it has not given any mandate for its sale and that it has not received any offers.”

The overhaul is politically sensitive in Italy. Left-wing campaigners have balked at the thought of allowing TIM to fall into foreign ownership and have urged the prime minister to stop any sale.

Telecom Italia used to be the incumbent state telecoms company and so Bonelli and the regulators are following developments closely.

Labruna declined to comment. Bonelli could not be reached for comment.