© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The TIM logo will be seen at the telecommunications company's headquarters in Rome, Italy on November 22, 2021. REUTERS / Yara Nardi / File Photo
MILAN (Reuters) -Telecom Italia is moving closer to selecting banks to advise them on a takeover bid approach by US private equity group KKR and could be awarding mandates this weekend, two sources said on Saturday. A special committee set up to look into KKR's no-obligation bid approach, worth $ 33 billion ($ 37 billion) including debt, met on Friday and will meet again over the weekend, the sources said.
KKR's approach was published on November 21st.
"You could find three names by Monday, but time is short and it may be a little longer," said one of the sources. A large number of banks are still in the running for an advisory role in Europe's largest private equity deal of all time. Bank of America (NYSE :), Barclays (LON 🙂 and Intesa Sanpaolo (OTC 🙂 Division IMI (LON 🙂 CIB have emerged as front runners, the sources said. The sources also said that no decision has been made yet. TIM, IMI, Bank of America and Barclays declined to comment. Divisions within Italy's largest telephone group are making it difficult for TIM to respond to KKR's offer after a shareholder dispute a week ago forced Luigi Gubitosi to step down as CEO. TIM's top shareholder Vivendi (OTC 🙂 is pushing for a full board replacement after Gubitosi refused to step down from the board, sources said – a move that prevented the appointment of new general manager Pietro Labriola as CEO last week.
Labriola could be named CEO if Gubitosi or another director resigns to make way for him.
Goldman Sachs (NYSE :), IMI, and Bank of America had a potential role in advising TIM before Gubitosi stepped down as CEO, sources previously announced.
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