Telecom Italia’s board in discussions over takeover proposal from funds

Telecom Italia’s (TIM) board is in an extraordinary meeting to discuss a takeover proposal from US hedge fund KKR, which is interested in acquiring the Italian communications giant’s whole capital.

According to sources, the fund’s plan is to carve out the group’s fixed network – of which KKR is an investor since last year – leveraging on the fact that company’s shares are at historic lows.

TIM’s chief executive Luigi Gubitosi was forced to struck a €1.8bn deal with KKR, giving the New-York fund a 37.5 per cent stake in FiberCop, the part of the business that deals with last-mile network.

KKR’s plan – which includes running TIM as a single network, along the lines of a government-regulated asset – is not opposed by Vivendi, one of the group’s main shareholders with a 24 per cent stake.

KKR is not the only fund that is looking at TIM. Private equities CVC and Advent International are also looking everywhere for partnerships, Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported.

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