By Mike Murphy
U.S. private equity giant KKR & Co. Inc. has made a 10.8 billion euro (US$12 billion) offer to purchase Telecom Italia SpA — Italy’s largest phone company — and take it private.
In a statement Sunday, Telecom Italia’s /zigman2/quotes/203233528/delayed IT:TIT -1.13% board of directors said KKR /zigman2/quotes/206126495/composite KKR -1.88% made a preliminary, nonbinding offer of 50.5 euro cents per share, about a 46% premium to Friday’s closing price.
The board called KKR’s bid “friendly,” and said it met Sunday to discuss the proposal, which would require approval by Telecom Italia’s directors, as well as the Italian government.
The takeover plan could face opposition from Vivendi SE /zigman2/quotes/202179234/delayed FR:VIV -1.74% , the telecom’s largest shareholder.
The news sent share of Telecom Italia climbing by 20% on Monday. Shares have sunk 22% over the past six months, and have lost about half their value over the past five years.