Rome will not discuss KKR move for TIM until a binding offer is made

25 Nov 2021

The Italian government says it will discuss investment firm KKR’s takeover bid for Telecom Italia (TIM) only if it proceeds to make a binding offer. The US company tabled a EUR10.8 billion (USD12 billion) non-binding bid last weekend, but Reuters cites Industry Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti as saying that authorities in Rome will not debate the move until there is a binding proposal. Any takeover would have to be approved by the government, which has a 9.8% stake in TIM and also has a ‘golden power’ to block or impose restrictions on a buyout.

Meanwhile, KKR is thought to be considering upping its offer after TIM’s largest single shareholder, Vivendi of France, said its initial price of EUR0.505 per share was too low. Vivendi paid an average of EUR1.07 per share for its 24% stake.

Separately, Italy’s main trade unions for communications workers have called on the government to play a greater role at TIM, saying that Vivendi has ‘created and fed tensions within the company, aimed at weakening the management over the years’.