Telecom Italia Spa will give Italy’s sovereign lender an extra month to make a multibillion-euro bid for its telco, the latest delay to a deal in the works.
The company’s board set a Nov. 30 deadline for bids and waived the exclusive rights granted to Italian-controlled Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA, according to a statement on Saturday.
The plan would involve merging the networks of Telecom Italia and Open Fiber SpA, one of its smaller rivals, to create a single landline network.
Earlier this year, Telecom Italia and Cassa Depositi signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at starting the merger, but in October the companies said they needed more time to finalize the offer.
The agreement was also signed by Open Fiber and Teemco, a Luxembourg company controlled by US private equity firm KKR & Co., which in turn owns Telecom Italia’s FiberCop SpA fiber unit, and Macquarie Group Ltd., a minority investor in Open. Fiber.
The value of the network remains a constant. Telecom Italia’s advisers originally valued it at about 20 billion euros ($19.4 billion), people familiar with the matter said earlier this year.
The delay, which Bloomberg News reported on Oct. 27, also reflects the impact of Italy’s regime change. Giorgia Meloni this month took over from Mario Draghi as prime minister and is likely to want to focus on a deal that has major implications for state-owned and strategically important infrastructure.
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