Feb 3, 2023
Italy Will Study KKR’s Offer For Telecom Italia, Giorgetti Says
(Bloomberg) -- Italy will “study the details” of KKR & Co’s offer for Telecom Italia SpA, Economy and Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said.
The government, which is stakeholer of the belaguered phone carrier, will “evaluate the offer when it has full information on it” Giorgetti said Friday in Rome, according to Ansa newswire. The minister reiterated that the government’s goal is public control of the network.
On Thursday Telecom Italia said it’s open to evaluate other offers for its network unit, besides KKR’s non-binding bid. The company’s board is scheduled to meet again on Feb. 24 to decide on the US investment firm’s offer.
KKR’s offer would value Telecom Italia’s network at about €20 billion ($22 billion) including debt, Bloomberg reported earlier Thursday citing people familiar with the matter.
Telecom Italia Chief Executive Officer Pietro Labriola is seeking to sell the network to cut the company’s gross debt of more than €30 billion, which has become more burdensome as interest rates have risen. The carrier has been holding talks for months with state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA — the Italian government’s financial arm — about a sale that could eventually involve a merger of the network with smaller state-backed rival Open Fiber SpA. Cassa Depositi owns about 10% of Telecom Italia and controls Open Fiber.
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