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KKR to wait till mid-march for TIM to answer takeover bid

Telecom Italia (TIM) is expected to make a decision on a 10.8 billion euro ($12.2 billion) takeover proposal from U.S. private equity firm KKR by the middle of next month.

New boss Pietro Labriola is working on a standalone plan to be presented to investors next week as an alternative to a KKR deal, with the backing of Telecom Italia top investors Vivendi and state lender CDP.

A special committee within TIM is expected to give its verdict on the KKR approach by mid-March, a source close to the matter said on Tuesday, once investors and markets have had a chance to digest Labriola’s plan.

KKR for its part wants Telecom Italia to come up with a clear response to its approach before the Italian group embarks on its own restructuring.

“The company must take responsibility for saying ‘No’ to 0.505 euros a share. KKR expects an answer to its proposal,” said another source close to the matter.

TIM shares traded below 0.40 euros on Tuesday, but leading shareholder Vivendi says the bid is too low because it would crystallise a loss on its investment.

Italian unions are also concerned about the impact of a break-up on thousands of workers and plan a strike on Wednesday. US News

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