With a sudden acceleration compared to rumors, the Kkr fund announced its intention to launch a takeover bid on Tim which could once again change the assets of the former monopolist. And yesterday the board of directors of the tlc company took note of the proposal which, should it be accepted, provides for the payment of € 0.505 per share, equal to 47% more than the market value set on the stock market last Friday and 60% on the average thirty days. But other international funds, such as CVC and Advent, could also take the field on Tim, competing with Kkr.
With a letter a few days ago to the president Salvatore Rossi, the American fund, which in Italy is led by Alberto Signori, already with one foot in the Tim group through 37.5% in Fibercop, expressed interest “friendly and not binding and indicative »to acquire 100% of the group’s ordinary and savings shares through an Offer conditional upon reaching 51%. At the proposed value for the single share, Tim would be worth 11 billion. And yesterday afternoon the extraordinary board called urgently, which lasted less than four hours, took note of the proposal “based on information in the public domain”. For this reason, Kkr has set among the conditions for the launch of the offer, in addition to the “approval of the company directors and the support of the management”, also “the performance of a four-week confirmatory due diligence” as well as “the approval by of relevant institutional subjects “since” the company is subject to the special powers of the golden power exercised by the government “.
The board of directors would not have expressed itself on the indicative price, because first it will have to deal with the crux of the observations made to Luigi Gubitosi on the performance and strategies of the company through the letters of the committees, directors and mayors which will be discussed in the extraordinary board of directors on Friday 26. Yesterday two French advisers (de Puyfontaine and Cadoret) and three independent directors (De Meo, Falcone and Moretti) pressed Gubitosi to buy time on Kkr while the CEO would instead like to tighten the time with the fund. Making the first calculations, the price of € 0.50 is lower than the carrying value of Vivendi (€ 0.80) and Cdp (€ 0.55). However Cassa Depositi, which on Thursday 25th will present the new plan, has an institutional role beyond the economic convenience that is projected on the protection of the network, in parallel with the golden power of the government.
The reason for a price that some analysts consider inadequate lies in the fact that before considering a possible adjustment, Kkr intends to study the group’s accounts carefully, as it is known from two profit warnings and with the rating cut by S&P. And the final decision will also depend on the performance of the stock on the stock market starting from today: it will certainly fly also in relation to the strong overdraft that characterizes it. “Vivendi reiterates its willingness and willingness to collaborate with the Italian authorities and public institutions for Tim’s long-term success”, a spokesman for the French group said in the morning, qualifying himself as a “long-term investor”. This means that Paris is not letting go and there are those who believe it can eventually organize a counter-takeover bid.
As for the always tense relations between Vivendi and Gubitosi, a rumor that yesterday circulated in circles close to the French about the genesis of the Kkr operation and which sees the manager to some extent directly interested in the move of the US fund should be recorded. In fact, it is said that after a tough confrontation in Paris with Vivendi’s top management over the past few weeks, Gubitosi would have solicited Kkr’s intervention by virtue of the good relations he had with his top management, given that in August 2020 he had concluded with them and signed the agreement to let them enter the capital of the subsidiary FiberCop. If this were true it would be serious, even if objective evidence has not yet been exhibited. The fact remains that, according to government rumors, in recent days Kkr informed the Mise of its intentions, so much so that the owner Giancarlo Giorgetti would have had an interview on the proposal with Mario Draghi and, on the other hand, with the Minister of Economy, Daniele Franco .