Italy reaffirmed its support for Telecom Italia SpA’s network sale plan after a report saying Vivendi SE requested a strategy change aimed at keeping the company’s key asset.
(Bloomberg) — Italy reaffirmed its support for Telecom Italia SpA’s network sale plan after a report saying Vivendi SE requested a strategy change aimed at keeping the company’s key asset.
The Italian government is working with its adviser on the grid’s separation process, an Italian official said, adding that press speculations after Thursday’s meeting between Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti and Vivendi’s top management were unfounded.
KKR & Co. has teamed up with Italy’s Finance Ministry to bid on the network, which must be presented by Oct. 15. The ministry in August agreed to take a stake of up to 20% in the grid for as much as €2.5 billion.
Italian daily La Repubblica reported earlier on Sunday that Vivendi wants an overhaul of Telecom Italia management in a bid to change the Italian company’s strategy as it opposes the planned $24 billion network sale to KKR.
Vivendi Chief Executive Officer Arnaud de Puyfontaine and Chairman Yannick Bollore detailed the proposal in a meeting with the Italian government on Thursday, La Repubblica reported, without saying where it got the information.
The sale of the grid, the carrier’s most valuable asset, would mark a transformational moment for the former monopoly.
The French company, Telecom Italia’s biggest investor, has already expressed its opposition to the sale of its network. Vivendi and Telecom Italia declined to comment on the La Repubblica report.
(updates with government comment)
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