Vivendi SE, the largest investor in Telecom Italia SpA, wants the phone carrier’s shareholders to vote on an offer from KKR & Co. Inc. to buy the company’s landline network.
(Bloomberg) — Vivendi SE, the largest investor in Telecom Italia SpA, wants the phone carrier’s shareholders to vote on an offer from KKR & Co. Inc. to buy the company’s landline network.
“We want to express our position officially” at either a shareholders meeting or an extraordinary meeting, Vivendi Chief Financial Officer Francois Laroze said on an analyst call Thursday following the French company’s results report.
Media group Vivendi owns about 24% of Telecom Italia, and has periodically expressed doubt about the value of KKR’s bid for the carrier’s network, or grid.
“We will say clearly where we are the moment we’ll be asked our position,” Laroze said. The CFO then reiterated his company’s €30 billion ($31.7 billion) valuation for the network.
KKR submitted a binding offer for the grid earlier this week, and the company has valued the network at around €23 billion, including some earn-outs, people familiar with the matter have said.
Read More: KKR Makes Binding Offer for Telecom Italia’s Phone Network
The network sale, the brainchild of Telecom Italia Chief Executive Officer Pietro Labriola, would be a milestone for Milan-based Telecom Italia as it looks to slash its gross debt pile of around €30 billion.
Commenting broadly on the French company’s stakes, Laroze said on the call that Vivendi continues to “contemplate all options” for holdings ranging from Telecom Italia to Universal Music Group NV. “We’ll decide again in the coming months what to do with these main stakes.”
–With assistance from Daniele Lepido and Benoit Berthelot.
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