: KKR makes $12 billion bid to take Telecom Italia private

United States

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 TIT, +3.65% board of directors said KKR KKR, -0.13% 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 VIV, -0.18%, the telecom’s largest shareholder.

Telecom Italia shares have sunk 22% over the past six months, and have lost about half their value over the past five years.