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EU to Decide on KKR’s Telecom Italia Buyout by May 30

 |  April 21, 2024

U.S. investment firm KKR’s bid to acquire Telecom Italia’s fixed-line access network is now in the hands of European Union antitrust regulators. According to a filing from the European Commission on Friday, a decision on the proposed buyout is expected by May 30.

Telecom Italia, the former phone monopoly, confirmed earlier on Friday that KKR had sought approval from the EU competition enforcer for the deal, as reported by Reuters. The Commission holds the authority to clear the transaction either with or without remedies during its initial review phase. Alternatively, it may initiate a four-month-long investigation if it harbors significant concerns regarding potential antitrust implications.

Read more: Telecom Italia Enters Exclusive Talks With KKR For Grid Sale

KKR’s proposed acquisition of Telecom Italia’s domestic network, valued at up to 22 billion euros ($23.5 billion), forms part of a broader government-backed initiative aimed at reducing debt and revitalizing the company, according to Reuters. Telecom Italia intends to finalize the deal around mid-2024, and any delays could complicate its restructuring efforts.

The confirmation from KKR received by Telecom Italia suggests that the project is progressing as scheduled. However, the proposed sale has not been without controversy. Vivendi, Telecom Italia’s largest shareholder with a 24% stake, has voiced skepticism regarding the deal, questioning both the valuation and the sustainability of the remaining services business. The French media conglomerate is currently challenging the sale in court, adding another layer of complexity to the transaction.

Source: Reuters