Telecom Italia rejects KKR due diligence request, blocking $12bn takeover bid

Telecom Italia TIM

Telecom Italia (TIM) has refused to give KKR access to its accounts and allow it to do due diligence as part of an attempted takeover.

Last November, KKR approached TIM with a non-binding offer that valued the company at €10.8 billion ($11.8 billion), but talks only officially began last month.

TIM said that the letter received April 4 from KKR said the investor could not confirm its indicative offer of EUR 0.505 per share without conducting due diligence. KKR said that circumstances had changed due to TIM’s profit warning in December, a guidance in March that was below market, and the downgrade of TIM’s credit rating.

TIM said that KKR received the information at the same time as other market participants, and said the US investor did not confirm its interest, including the previous price, so “it would not be appropriate at this time to grant KKR access to due diligence.”

The Italian telco said in a statement: “Should KKR submit a deliverable, complete, and attractive offer… TIM Board of Directors would be open to reconsidering its decision in the interest of all shareholders.”

It continued: “KKR ultimately confirmed its interest in exploring any other transactions in the interest of the company, its shareholders and Italy.”

KKR’s offer also led to the downfall of TIM CEO Luigi Gubitosi, who was forced out after major shareholder Vivendi accused him of working with KKR in secret.

Private equity Apax Partners is believed to be interested in making an offer for TIM, while CVC last month made a non-binding offer for part of TIM’s enterprise business, including its data center business.