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US financial investor KKR wants to take over Italy’s telecommunications group TIM

The US financial investor KKR wants to take over the Italian telecommunications company TIM. The listed investment company, which is also the largest shareholder in the Axel Springer media group, has officially registered its interest in buying with the Italians. This was “not binding and indicative,” said TIM, the former Telecom Italia, after an extraordinary board meeting on Sunday evening.

KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) is aiming to take over 100 percent of the shares in the former monopoly and then to take the company off the stock exchange. The investor offers EUR 0.505 per share. The TIM share was traded at EUR 0.35 on Friday. In total, KKR’s offer should amount to 10.8 billion euros, reported Reuters.

TIM is under pressure in Italy: The latest quarterly results were disappointing, and a deal with the streaming platform DAZN to broadcast Serie A football games this season did not bring the hoped-for growth in subscribers.

As the main shareholder, the French media group Vivendi is already calling for changes in strategy, as the media said. It was recently speculated that Vivendi was discussing a takeover of TIM. There was also talk of interest from investors CVC and Advent. KKR already has a stake in the TIM subsidiary FiberCop, a company that is supposed to supply Italian communities with fiber optic cables.

In Italy, the news about the KKR initiative worried the newspaper first Corriere della Sera had reported for excitement. The government announced that evening that it would follow developments. First of all, however, it is a good sign for the country if investors are interested in Italian companies, it said.

KKR initially intends to hold a corporate audit, for which around four weeks are planned, like TIM communicated further. In addition, an assessment by the authorities is expected; a law called “Golden Power”, for example, allows the government to prevent deals by foreign investors in areas that are strategic for the state.

The Ministry of Finance in Rome underlined in his reactionthat broadband expansion must have priority, also in order to meet the requirements of the billion dollar European reconstruction fund.

(fds)

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