(AOF) – Telecom Italia gained 0.76% to 0.488 euros this morning on the Milan stock exchange, thus representing one of the only increases in its benchmark index, the FTSE MIB, which evolves in the scarlet red like almost all the stock exchanges European. The day promises to be decisive for the future of the Italian telecommunications operator, since the meeting of its board of directors is taking place today. On the agenda are the latest (disastrous) results of the group, but also and above all the takeover offer of KKR and the future of the CEO, Luigi Gubitosi.
The latter would have sent a letter to the members of the board of directors in which he would have said he wanted to withdraw to speed up the buyout process, reveals Bloomberg. He also reportedly requested the appointment of financial advisers to help KKR gain easier access to Telecom Italia accounts.
The American private equity fund would also consider joining forces with its competitor CVC Capital Partners, “which would make it possible to share the financial burden of the largest leveraged buyout operation ever carried out in Europe”, also reveals the press agency , citing people familiar with the matter. The two companies have already had “exploratory discussions”, while CVC has been interested in Telecom Italia for several months already.
On the other hand, the investment company Advent International, also interested in the Italian operator and for a time in talks with CVC, would have lowered its ambitions in the face of the complexity of the operation and the support of the government of Mario Draghi. to KKR’s interest, Bloomberg added. The Italian State, shareholder of Telecom Italia up to approximately 10% via the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, has moreover a “golden power” allowing it to veto operations in strategic sectors.
Still, a departure of Luigi Gubitosi would not displease the main shareholder of the telecoms group, Vivendi, which holds 24% of the capital. The French indeed considers the administrator to be responsible for the poor performance of the company in recent years, according to Invest Securties. But this does not mean that the media giant will give up its actions. He sees himself as a long-term shareholder, and he has “no reason to sell”, says a close friend of Vincent Bolloré quoted by BFM Business.
Especially since KKR’s first offer, at 50.5 euro cents per Telecom Italia share, is well below their book value as recorded by Vivendi as of June 30, 2021 (83 cents). To overcome this resistance, the fund would be ready to revise its price upwards to 70-80 cents, reports the Wall Street Journal. But will that be enough for all that? The decisions of the board of directors of the Italian which takes place on Friday will be decisive in this sense.
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