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Telecom Italia boosted by private equity suitors

Randy Mancini 2 Mar 28
FILE PHOTO: The Tim logo is seen at its headquarters
FILE PHOTO: The Tim logo is seen at its headquarters in Rome, Italy November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

March 28, 2022

MILAN (Reuters) -Shares in Telecom Italia (TIM) rose on Monday after the Italian telecoms group confirmed it had received a non-binding proposal from CVC Capital Partners for a minority stake in its enterprise services arm.

The approach fits with the plans of newly-appointed TIM Chief Executive Pietro Labriola to split TIM’s service businesses from its domestic fixed network operations.

TIM added in its statement that its talks with U.S. fund KKR to assess the “attractiveness, actuality and deliverability” of its non-binding 10.8 billion euro offer for the group as a whole were ongoing.

Shares in TIM rose 3% to 0.3435 euros by 0720 GMT after the confirmation of the CVC interest, which was first reported by Reuters on Saturday.

The price remains well below the 0.505 euro price at which the KKR approach was pitched.

CVC has asked to enter a 10-week exclusive negotiating period, including eight weeks to complete a due diligence assessment, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.

The TIM board will have a first look at the CVC proposal at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday and also assess the state of play with the KKR approach.

The services division would include cloud, internet of things (IoT), cybersecurity and connectivity services focused on large corporate clients. Sources had told Reuters the CVC approach was for a stake of up to 49% in that unit.

(Reporting by Cristina Carlevaro and Elvira PollinaWriting by Keith Weirediting by Agnieszka Flak)