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Vivendi open to state control for TIM

TIM sign generic 16.9.jpg

Telecom Italia’s largest investor Vivendi could be open to a deal that sees the telco become controlled by the state.

Any deal that involves the Italian state would be a move that counters the initial €10.8 billion bid from hedge fund KKR. 

Vivendi and TIM had been locked in a boardroom wrangle over the deal after its largest backer expressed opposition to the KKR approach. 

Vivendi is working with state-backed lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA on a plan to revive the company and the two firms will meet again to develop a strategy that doesn’t involve KKR according to Il Messaggero newspaper. 

Cassa Depositi is TIM’s second-largest shareholder with 9.8% shares while Vivendi holds 24% according to Bloomberg. 

A Vivendi spokesperson said in a statement: “Vivendi is interested in all solutions that promote the efficiency and infrastructural modernity of the network while preserving the value of its investment.” 

“The hypothesis of state control of the network, if it were preparatory to a strategic project led by the public sector, will definitely be evaluated with openness.”

Italy’s government will review the KKR bid at a Parliamentary hearing in Rome on Thursday and will decide whether or not to use Golden Power oversight for approaches by foreign companies.

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