Telecom Italia (TIM) has refused to give investment company KKR access to its finances, effectively ruling out a EUR10.8 billion (USD11.8 billion) takeover bid by the US firm. KKR said earlier this week that it would need to carry out due diligence before submitting a formal bid, but TIM says an offer needs to be made before it opens its books: ‘Should KKR submit a deliverable, complete and attractive offer … TIM Board of Directors would be open to reconsidering its decision in the interest of all shareholders.’ KKR’s bid had previously been deemed as being too low by TIM’s largest shareholder, Vivendi of France.
TIM is looking at a separate deal which would combine its networks business with state-backed wholesale provider Open Fiber. KKR does already own 37.5% of TIM’s last-mile networks unit FiberCop and could be invited to become a co-investor in the merged TIM-Open Fiber. Meanwhile, TIM is also assessing a separate non-binding expression of interest by CVC Capital Partners to acquire a minority stake in the telco’s enterprise services division.