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    TIT   IT0003497168

TELECOM ITALIA S.P.A.

(TIT)
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Telecom Italia Shares Surge After Report That KKR Is Mulling Higher Takeover Bid

11/24/2021 | 10:26am EST

By Mauro Orru and Olivia Bugault

Shares in Telecom Italia SpA jumped Wednesday after a report that KKR & Co. is considering increasing its bid to take the telecommunications company private.

The share move came just days after the U.S. investment firm first expressed interest in Telecom Italia through an offer with an equity value of roughly 10.79 billion euros ($12.14 billion).

At 1510 GMT, Telecom Italia shares were trading 16% higher at EUR0.50.

The Italian company said late Sunday that it had received a friendly and non-binding indication of interest from KKR aimed at delisting it, paving the way for a possible buyout offer at EUR0.505 a share--a 45% premium on Friday's closing price.

Its current share price is still below KKR's tentative offer, despite Wednesday's rise.

A person familiar with the deal told The Wall Street Journal that KKR is "totally and solely" focused on the offer that was announced Sunday.

Bloomberg reported late Tuesday that KKR was debating increasing its bid for Telecom Italia to around EUR0.70 or EUR0.80 a share to overcome potential resistance from Vivendi SE, the media conglomerate steered by the family of French billionaire Vincent Bollore that has amassed a 23.75% stake in Telecom Italia.

Vivendi believes KKR's offer doesn't reflect the value of the company, a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. The French company is a long-term investor in Telecom Italia, they added.

Opposition by Vivendi, which has built its stake in Telecom Italia at an average price of EUR1.07 a share, was to be expected, analysts at Jefferies said earlier this week.

"In our view, the critical point is whether the offer will be approved by the board. If so, we think there may be room for negotiation on the valuation," Equita Sim analysts said.

A spokesman for Telecom Italia said the company's board would meet on Friday.

If successful, KKR's bid would make Telecom Italia the latest in a line of European telecommunications companies to be taken private this year. Billionaire businessman Xavier Niel, who founded French telecommunications company Iliad in 1999, unveiled an offer to take it private in July, following the precedent set by fellow entrepreneur Patrick Drahi earlier this year when he delisted Altice Europe.

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94 and Olivia Bugault at olivia.bugault@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-24-21 1026ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
KKR & CO. INC. -0.66% 69.4 Delayed Quote.-6.85%
TELECOM ITALIA S.P.A. 0.69% 0.4513 Delayed Quote.3.94%
VIVENDI SE -0.83% 12 Real-time Quote.0.93%
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Analyst Recommendations on TELECOM ITALIA S.P.A.
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Financials
Sales 2021 15 580 M 17 783 M 17 783 M
Net income 2021 319 M 364 M 364 M
Net Debt 2021 20 927 M 23 886 M 23 886 M
P/E ratio 2021 34,0x
Yield 2021 2,27%
Capitalization 9 431 M 10 772 M 10 764 M
EV / Sales 2021 1,95x
EV / Sales 2022 1,98x
Nbr of Employees 52 177
Free-Float -
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Number of Analysts 22
Last Close Price 0,45 €
Average target price 0,45 €
Spread / Average Target -1,07%
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Pietro Labriola General Manager
Giovanni Ronca Chief Financial Officer
Salvatore Rossi Chairman
Michele Gamberini Chief Technology & Information Officer
Stefano Siragusa Chief Revenue, Information & Media Office
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