TIM begins Open Fiber talks with CDP Equity as KKR bid prospect fades

Telecom Italia (TIM) has revealed that it has signed a non-disclosure agreement with CDP Equity S.p.A. to initiate preliminary discussions about the integration of TIM’s network with the network of Open Fiber, in which CDP Equity holds a 60% stake.

“The purpose of the agreement signed today is to start negotiations with the goal of agreeing, indicatively by 30 April, on a memorandum of understanding to define the objectives, the perimeter, the structure and the main evaluation criteria and parameters related to the integration project,” said TIM.

CDP is a shareholder in TIM as well as Open Fiber and the Italian government has been a strong proponent of creating a single infrastructure company for Italy.

The talks between TIM and CDP comes as the prospects of private equity company KKR making a takeover bid for TIM as a whole dim.

Reuters reported that KKR has made it clear that it will not make a bid for the Italian telco without due diligence taking place beforehand.

TIM has previously indicated that it will open its books to KKR only if a formal bid is made.

News of KKR’s decision caused TIM shares to fall sharply.

Later this week TIM’s board will discuss another bid by investment outfit CVC to take a minority stake in a new JV that would encompass TIM’s enterprise business.

Both the CDP and CVC discussions are seen as part of an alternative restructuring plan on the part of TIM, highlighting the receding likelihood of a takeover by KKR.

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