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TIM blocks KKR’s access to information for €10.8bn takeover bid

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The board of directors of TIM has told Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) that it cannot see documents it needs in order to pursue a €10.8 billion takeover bid.

KKR made an indicative bid for the former Telecom Italia in November, but the private equity investor said it needs to see the company’s financial information.

The TIM board said it “unanimously decided that it would not be appropriate at this time to grant KKR access to due diligence”, adding that this was because “KKR did not confirm its expression of interest, including the price therein previously indicated”.

That means KKR’s approach is still indicative. The TIM board “acknowledged that KKR indicated its inability to confirm, without access to due diligence, the terms of the indicative non-binding expression of interest” made in November, “including the price of €0.505 per share”.

KKR already owns 37.5% of TIM’s last-mile fixed-line network, FiberCop, along with Swisscom’s Fastweb.

KKR told TIM it wanted the due diligence information because of a profit warning in December 2021, “followed by lower-than-expected annual results for 2021”.

The bidder was also worried that TIM’s guidance for the 2022-24 strategic plan was “significantly below expectations”. Meanwhile rating agencies have downgraded TIM’s credit, and said there is a negative outlook for the company.

TIM’s board said: “KKR has received the above information over the last few months, at the same time as other market participants.”

Meanwhile the board officially confirmed Pietro Labriola as CEO. He was appointed in January, following the departure of Luigi Gubitosi, largely over tensions within the directors over KKR’s €10.8 billion bid.

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