US fund KKR interested in Italian telecoms giant TIM

Nov 22, 2021, 3:32 AM | Updated: 11:26 am

ROME (AP) — The Italian telecommunications company TIM is assessing a non-binding “indication of interest” by the U.S. investment fund KKR to acquire the entire capital share, a potential 11 billion-euro deal.

Any agreement would need the OK of the Italian government.

TIM in a statement issued on Sunday evening says its board of directors met and “acknowledged” the fund’s interest in launching a possible public tender. The due diligence process is expected to take four weeks.

Although TIM is a private company quoted on the stock exchange, because it is considered a strategic asset for Italy, the Italian government can exercise its so-called “golden power” option to oppose any acquisition it considers wouldn’t be in the public’s interest.

TIM’s statement said its board “acknowledged the intention” of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P., to date qualified as “non-binding and indicative.” TIM said that among conditions is a “minimum level of acceptance of 51%” for both ordinary and savings shares.

KKR’s indication of interest was described by TIM as “friendly” and aimed at obtaining approval by TIM’s directors and support by TIM’s management.

The government is expected to evaluate KKR’s interest keenly, especially with regard to any layoffs in TIM, a major Italian company which is also the country’s largest phone operator and holds the biggest part of telecommunications infrastructure in Italy.

The move by KKR comes as Premier Mario Draghi’s government has pledged to use billions of euros in EU pandemic economic recovery funds to facilitate the country’s digital transition.

A statement on the finance ministry website said the government called KKR’s interests “positive news for the country. If this (deal) becomes concrete, it will be the market in the first place to evaluate the solidity of the plan.”

In a reference to its “golden power,” the government said it will “follow with attention the developments of manifestation of interest and will evaluate carefully, even in regards to the exercising of its own prerogatives, the plans that involve infrastructure.”

To properly evaluate the prospects, Italy is setting set up a working group composed of government officials as well as experts.

TIM said the indication of interest foresees a indicative price, to be paid fully in cash, of 0.505 euros per ordinary or savings share. Italian media calculated that would make the offer worth up to 11 billion euros (more than $12 billion).

KKR already has links to TIM, since a year ago it became part of FiberCop.

FiberCop, formed by TIM, KKR and Fastweb, is developing digital services through high-performance fiber optic connections.

French company Vivendi is TIM’s largest single shareholder, with a 23.75% stake. It was not immediately clear how Vivendi might respond to the U.S. fund’s intentions.

TIM, formerly called Telecom Italia, was born in the mid-1990s. Over the years, industrial giants including Olivetti and Benetton have launched offers leading to economic involvement. In 2016, it changed its name to TIM, the same year that Vivendi became a shareholder.

The Italian government said its aim regarding any deal is to assure that plans are “compatible with the rapid completion of broadband connection.” It will also be scrutinizing “the protection and growth of employment.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Labour conference starts with focus on ‘immoral’ tax cuts

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s opposition Labour Party opened its annual conference Sunday, with leaders attacking the “immoral” tax-cutting of the new Conservative government. The event, this year taking place in the northern city of Liverpool, kicked off two days after the U.K government, under new Prime Minister Liz Truss, said it would scrap a 45% […]
5 hours ago
Police officers detain a demonstrator during a protest against a partial mobilization in Moscow, Ru...
Associated Press

Winter’s approach sets clock ticking for Ukraine, Russia

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The onset of autumnal weather, with rains making fields too muddy for tanks, is beginning to cloud Ukraine’s efforts to take back more Russian-held territory before winter freezes the battlefields, a Washington-based think tank said Sunday. Russia, meanwhile, pressed on with its call-up of hundreds of thousands of men to throw […]
5 hours ago
In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, s...
Associated Press

German leader continues Gulf tour with stops in UAE, Qatar

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz planted a tree at a mangrove park in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, a token nod to environmentalism during a two-day visit to the Gulf region focused mainly on securing new fossil fuel supplies and forging fresh alliances against Russia. Germany is trying to wean itself off […]
5 hours ago
A baker stacks loaves of Egyptian traditional "baladi" flatbread outside a bakery, in the Old Cairo...
Associated Press

Poverty and inflation: Egypt’s economy hit by global turmoil

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Stores are selling winter clothes from last season in the middle of summer. Repair shops lack spare parts for appliances. There’s a waiting list to buy a new car. Egypt, a country of more than 103 million people, is running low on foreign currency needed to buy essentials like […]
1 day ago
This satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tropical...
Associated Press

Florida monitors a growing Tropical Storm Ian in Caribbean

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities and residents in Florida were keeping a cautious eye on Tropical Storm Ian as it rumbled through the Caribbean on Sunday, expected to continue gaining strength and become a major hurricane in the coming days on a forecast track toward the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency […]
1 day ago
A Carolina dog waits for his owner to vote at a polling station in Rome, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. It...
Associated Press

Italians vote in election that could take far-right to power

ROME (AP) — Italians voted Sunday in an election that could move the country’s politics sharply toward the right during a critical time for Europe, with war in Ukraine fueling skyrocketing energy bills and testing the West’s resolve to stand united against Russian aggression. Polls opened at 7 a.m. (0500GMT) and by noon turnout was […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
US fund KKR interested in Italian telecoms giant TIM