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By Elvira Pollina and Agnieszka Flak
MILAN, Italy (Reuters) – Telecom Italia’s chief executive, Luigi Gubitosi, told the company’s board of directors that he is ready to step down from office if it helps speed up a decision on the private group’s proposed takeover US equity KKR, sources told Reuters on Thursday.
KKR made an offer of 10.8 billion euros ($12 billion) amid a dispute between Gubitosi and Telecom Italia’s main investor Vivendi.
Gubitosi said in a letter sent to the council on Thursday that it is time to act, appoint advisers and make a decision on the KKR’s offer, sources told Reuters.
“Attitudes of the board that generate waste of time and could be interpreted as aimed at defending the interests of certain shareholders must be avoided”, said Gubitosi, in the letter.
“Technically, we could be ready for a ‘data room’ in 48 to 72 hours”, said the executive in the document, referring to the practice of giving the offeror and its advisors access to a company’s books so that they can conduct a due diligence during the negotiations.
French media group Vivendi has been pushing for a change in command at Telecom Italia.
Gubitosi’s comments came as auditors and Telecom Italia’s risk committee were examining the financial health of the group that controls TIM in Brazil, after the company released two warnings to the market since the middle of the year about its results, which strengthened the current by the change of command.
Vivendi declined to comment.
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