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KKR’s $37 billion approach boosts Telecom Italia shares
MILAN (Reuters) -Investors in Telecom Italia on Monday cheered a proposal by U.S. fund KKR to buy Italy’s debt-laden former phone monopoly for 33 billion euros ($37 billion) in what would be Europe’s biggest ever private equity buyout. The move comes as a boardroom war rages at Telecom Italia (TIM), which has been mired in crisis for years but is crucial to government efforts to expand broadband connectivity because it owns the country’s main network. KKR’s offer, which is conditional on the government’s backing and the outcome of a four-week analysis, values TIM at 10.8 billion euros excluding net debt of 22.5 billion – or 45.7% above Friday’s closing price for ordinary shares.