KKR & Co. is close to involving Italy’s Finance Ministry in its bid on Telecom Italia SpA’s network, as Rome pushes to retain some oversight over an asset it deems strategic, people familiar with the matter said.
(Bloomberg) — KKR & Co. is close to involving Italy’s Finance Ministry in its bid on Telecom Italia SpA’s network, as Rome pushes to retain some oversight over an asset it deems strategic, people familiar with the matter said.
The US private equity firm could as soon as this week sign a memorandum of understanding with the ministry on a partnership that would give Italy a minority stake in Telecom Italia’s network unit, the people said, asking not to be named discussing private conversations.
Representatives for KKR, the ministry and Telecom Italia each declined to comment.
Read More: F2i Plans to Invest €2 Billion in KKR’s Telecom Italia Grid Bid
Telecom Italia in June kicked off exclusive talks with KKR on the sale of the network in a bid to slash debt. The US firm valued the network, or grid, at as much as €23 billion ($25.3 billion), including some earn-outs, people familiar with the matter said at the time.
KKR’s bid was higher than a rival proposal from Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA and Macquarie Asset Management. The sale of the grid, the company’s most valuable asset, would be a transformational deal for Telecom Italia, and would mark the first such move for any European carrier.
Italy may ultimately get a stake of 35% in the network, Italian daily La Repubblica reported earlier this month.
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