HomeBussinessShareholder Vivendi says bids for Telecom Italia network too low

Shareholder Vivendi says bids for Telecom Italia network too low

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PARIS, March 8 (Reuters) – The rival bids for the network of Telecom Italia (TIM) (TLIT.MI) are too low, the chief executive of leading TIM shareholder Vivendi (VIV.PA) said on Wednesday.

Italian state lender CDP has teamed up with Macquarie (MQG.AX) for a non-binding offer for the fixed-line network of the former Italian phone monopoly, rivalling an approach made by KKR (KKR.N).

“The offers made as of today, as far as I understand them, are far below the real value, and the real value of this beautiful company of Telecom Italia,” Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine told reporters.

Neither side has made the terms of its bid public but sources have told Reuters that both place a valuation of around 18 billion euros ($19 billion)on the asset.

De Puyfontaine was speaking after the French media group reported an annual loss attributable to shareholders of 1.01 billion euros, mainly due to the deconsolidation of TIM from its accounts.

He said the deconsolidation allowed Vivendi to play a more active role as a TIM shareholder.

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“We have total freedom now … to defend the fair valuation of the stake that we have in this company which, from our point of view in terms of value, has a very important potential.”

He said he did not know the details of the CDP bid but what he had heard did not meet his expectations.

“If indeed it is with terms that vary, and in the level of valuation that was made by KKR, it seems to me to be completely below the objectives that Vivendi has clearly mentioned.”

($1 = 0.9485 euros)

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Elvira Pollina
Writing by Keith Weir
Editing by Gianluca Semeraro and Mark Potter

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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