December 20, 2021
Luigi Gubitosi, the ex-CEO of Italian operator group TIM, has been given 6.9 million reasons to step down from its board of directors.
This is just the latest event in a spate of corporate tussling at the top of TIM, which last month saw Gubitosi, who owns who owns 3,957,152 shares in TIM, resign as CEO. It’s all a bit murky, but it seems as if the resignation was a precondition for the board considering a takeover bid by KKR, perhaps at the behest of substantial minority shareholder Vivendi.
The private equity firm launched a €0.505 per share takeover bid that values the Italian incumbent at €10.79 billion. Add in TIM’s net debt, and that valuation jumps to €32.95 billion.
Vivendi, which owns about a quarter of TIM, seems set against the deal in it’s present form, and earlier this month reportedly aired that it’s open to state intervention, perhaps to somehow alter the terms to something it finds more favourable.
Following that, both TIM’s technology and strategy chiefs left the firm in a major reshuffle that came just 6 months after the last one.
The firm offered an update on the present state of the takeover bid as part of Gubitosi‘s departure press release. Sandwiched between some excruciating legalise was the following statement:
“At this stage, a thorough assessment of the Indicative Non-Binding Expression, as well as a comparison with the outlook and a review of other strategic alternatives are under way in order to decide, among other things, whether to give access to the due diligence requested by KKR. Furthermore, as announced on December 15, the management is undertaking a review of the plan.”
As if all that wasn’t enough, the firm warned last week that earnings at its domestic business in 2021 will be lower than it had previously forecast, representing a decline of around 13 – 14 percent.
It’s a chaotic situation which is bound to yield more changes in 2022, partly fuelled by the takeover bid and partly to do with commercial pressures in its domestic Italian base. A €7 million cheque to not have to turn up for work and deal with it all feels like a pretty good deal to us.
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