ROME (Reuters) – Italy wants to keep control of Telecom Italia’s (TIM) strategic assets in any potential takeover bid, Industry Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said on Wednesday.
TIM has received a non-binding 10.8 billion euro ($12.27 billion) approach from U.S. private equity firm KKR aimed at taking Italy’s biggest phone group private.
The former phone monopoly owns Italy’s biggest telecoms infrastructure and the government has the power to block any deal involving assets deemed to be of national interest. KKR made its offer conditional on getting backing from TIM’s board and the government.
Asked whether KKR’s bid might jeopardise a Treasury-championed plan to merge TIM’s assets with those of state backed Open Fiber, Giorgetti said: “The government respects the market but any takeover bid must take into account a framework within which the state cannot relinquish control.”
(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Elvira Pollina; editing by Agnieszka Flak and Jane Merriman)
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