Italian telecoms company TIM approves acquisition offer by KKR investment fund

ROME (AP) — Italian communications company TIM said Sunday that its board of directors has approved the binding acquisition offer by the KKR investment company, following months of negotiations.

In a statement, TIM said the approval took the form of a majority vote. The offer assumes that the closing will occur by summer 2024.

The deal faces scrutiny by European Union anti-trust authorities.

The board rejected a non-binding offer for Sparkle, TIM’s undersea cable unit.

Italian state TV said the government, under the deal with KKR, would be a significant shareholder. Corriere della Sera said the finance ministry would hold about a 20% stake. The operation will permit TIM to reduce nearly half of its more than 30 billion ($31.5 billion) in debt and reduce the number of employees, the Milan daily said.

The binding offer values NetCo — TIM’s fixed network assets but excluding Sparkle — at 18.8 billion euros (some $20 billion), said a statement from TIM.