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Vivendi says to hold onto Telecom Italia stake

Amnon Free Press/Central Press Syndicate, USA. Read, Enjoy and Share the Latest US News Updates.

November 23, 2021

MILAN (Reuters) – Vivendi has no plans to sell its stake in Telecom Italia, the French group said on Tuesday, reiterating it was a long-term investor in Italy’s biggest phone group and wanted to work with all stakeholders for its success.

The comments came after U.S. fund KKR made a non-binding proposal for the former phone monopoly at an indicative price of 0.505 euros a share, which Vivendi said did not adequately reflect Telecom Italia’s (TIM) value.

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Vivendi has spent on average 1.07 euros a share for its 24% TIM stake, and carries it on its books at 0.83 euros.

“Vivendi wishes to clarify that the group is very attached to Italy and to Telecom Italia (and) has no intention to sell its stake in Telecom Italia,” a spokesperson for the company said.

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KKR’s proposal, which gives TIM an equity value of 10.8 billion euros rising to 33 billion when taking into account net debt, is aimed at taking private Italy’s main phone company.

KKR has set a minimum acceptance threshold of 51% for its offer, meaning Vivendi’s backing is not necessary for it to go through.

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However, pushing through extraordinary resolutions requires a two-thirds majority and KKR would struggle to turn TIM around without its top investor onboard.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Valentina Za)

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