Home Business Takeover bid for KKR, TIM title burns out. But for some, private equity is the only solution to make a business change

Takeover bid for KKR, TIM title burns out. But for some, private equity is the only solution to make a business change

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For now, the speculative appeal on the TIM stock is extinguished, after the group announced last Sunday that it had received an expression of interest from the American fund KKR for 100% of its ordinary and savings shares, at a premium of 46% compared to the value at which the stock closed last Friday’s session.

Yesterday TIM closed the session in Piazza Affari with a 30.25% rally to € 0.451, a value in any case lower than the € 0.505 offered by Kkr. Today the stock, listed on the Ftse Mib benchmark index, is evidently burned out and, after a promising start to the session, rallies by more than 3%, it also turns negative.

Focus on the statements coming from the world of analysts.

In a note released today, the German rating agency Scope Ratings highlights the interest of private equity funds for the whole European telecom sector.

Jacques de Greling, an analyst at Scope, warns that “the Italian telecommunications market is particularly challenging, as it is one of the most mature in Europe, with few signs that the long period of weakening growth is coming to an end”.

Some data are pitted, such as those relating to the total turnover of telecommunications linked to retail activities, which fell in 2020 by 6.9% – by 8.2% for mobile and by 5.7% in the case of the fixed network – compared to 2019, a factor that brought the decline on an annual basis in the last ten years, on average, to -3.5%.

In this context, “if Telecom Italia were to change ownership, then a takeover by a private equity fund would be the most likely way to do it”.

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In Europe there is no lack of examples, with the cases of investors “Xaviel Niel and Patrick Drahi who have made private the holding companies of telecommunications operators among the most important in France, such as Free and SFR, respectively in the last year, after a period in which the stocks had underperformed. KKR had previously tried to buy KPN NV in the Netherlands. ”

“KKR is potentially well positioned in Italy – continued Greling, noting that the company is a shareholder of FiberCop (controlled by TIM) with a 37.5% stake.

“Secondly – underlined the analyst – Telecom Italia management is facing intense pressure to change the business, after the two recent profit warnings, and with the share price trading at a value below the half of that from which Vivendi, the main shareholder with a 24% stake, had bought it. Thirdly, the prospect of a Telecom Italia finding a white knight in the guise of another European telephone operator is zero. Tlc mergers cross-border between large companies offer negligible cost savings and no revenue gains in Europe. ”

De Grieling continued, recalling that “Telecom Italia has managed to thwart the previous attempts of various industrial partners to change the business, such as the Spanish Telefonica and Olivetti, which preceded Vivendi as major shareholders”.

“Having said that, for this operation to take place (that of KKR’s takeover bid), it is necessary for KKR to obtain the consent of Vincent Bolloré, the controlling shareholder of Vivendi, and of the Italian government – who has a golden share and which has a stake indirect through Cassa Depositi e Prestiti – for which the Telecom Italia network infrastructure remains a strategic asset “.

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At 2:50 pm Italian time, the TIM stock fell by approximately 1.5%, to € 0.44, a level well below the 0.505 offered by the American fund KKR. (considered in any case insufficient by the small shareholders of Telecom Italia and by the first shareholder Vivendi).

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