President of TIM will be chosen to command Telecom Italia

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Telecom Italia (TIM) is expected to appoint the president of TIM, Pietro Labriola, as chief executive of the Italian group this Friday (21), at a time when the European company is studying a response to the takeover offer made by the North. American KKR.

Labriola, a veteran executive of the Italian group and who has been at the helm of TIM for three years, was promoted to managing director of Telecom Italia in November, when former executive chairman Luigi Gubitosi stepped down after a series of warnings about the results of the company.

Telecom Italia’s biggest investor, French media giant Vivendi, backed Labriola’s nomination.

Vivendi, which owns 24% of Telecom Italia, has criticized KKR’s €10.8 billion ($12.2 billion) offer, saying it does not reflect the value of Italy’s biggest telecoms operator.

State-owned bank CDP, Telecom Italia’s second-biggest investor, is also expected to back Labriola’s appointment at a board meeting on Friday, sources close to the situation said, asking not to be identified.

Labriola is already responsible for drawing up a business plan to restructure Telecom Italia that would serve as a reference for the company’s board to evaluate in relation to KKR’s proposal.

Under a draft submitted to the board this week, Labriola drew up proposals to separate the company’s wireline operations from its services business, the sources said.

“NetCo” comprising Telecom Italia’s infrastructure assets will focus on wholesale business. This includes Sparkle submarine cable operations, the sources added.

The proposed acquisition of KKR is conditional on the support of the board of Telecom Italia and the Italian government, which considers the group’s network infrastructure strategic and has special powers to block unwanted transactions.

KKR, which already owns 37.5% of Telecom Italia’s last-mile network, plans to split the fixed assets and give CDP a lead role in overseeing them, the sources said.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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