Tim, the Macquarie fund against the Cdp-Kkr axis: veto on the single network

Tim, the Macquarie fund against the Cdp-Kkr axis: veto on the single network


MILAN. The Macquarie fund is ready to get in the way of the hypothesis that Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, after losing the tender for Tim’s goal, moves to the opposite field, i.e. alongside Kkr, who entered into exclusive negotiations on Thursday take over the infrastructure for a figure that can reach up to 23 billion.

According to some reconstructions, the idea that Cdp participates with 3-5% in the nascent NetCo (the network company) without any governance power, therefore without affecting the strategy, would not convince the fund, which would not see its usefulness . And he would be determined to enforce the legal ties that would bind Cdp to Macquarie. Not only were the two together in the consortium that valued the Tim network at 19.3 billion. They are also partners in Open Fiber, the fiber company Tim’s competitor wanted by the Renzi government of which Cdp has 60% and Macquarie 40%. A double role that constituted the Antitrust obstacle on which, at least in part, the proposal of the Italian-Australian consortium broke.

Macquarie, given the situation, has already been proposing a way out to CDP for weeks: an Open Fiber unpacking plan. Basically, the fund is ready to take over the assets in the so-called black areas, the most profitable and sought-after ones, leaving the Cassa – paying an adjustment to be negotiated between 0.5 and 2 billion – the assets in the white and gray areas, those more rural and less attractive to operators. In doing so, Macquarie would concentrate on the valuable areas with its own company, while CDP could contribute the rest to the Tim network. If this project has opened some breaches in the government, it has instead found no shores in via Goito, where it is considered impracticable.

This being the case, the single network appears dead and buried. In short, the chances of a merger between the future NetCo and Open Fiber would be zero at the moment. Macquarie, having lost the opportunity to integrate through the joint project with CDP, would consider the option closed. And inside Open Fiber it would be determined to assert its right of veto. Dealing with the merger in the future would be more difficult in the face of such different numbers: the Tim network is worth 19.3 billion, as the Australians and Cdp think, or 23, as far as Kkr has gone? Not to mention that Macquarie would find one more interlocutor at the table: the F2i fund, a new ally (with 10%, for a 2 billion investment) in the operation alongside Kkr. The fund is participated by the CDP, by foundations and banks, and would contribute to tinge with the tricolor an American operation. The name of F2i would have already found mention in the papers that Kkr has deposited with Tim. But its participation will not in itself lead to an improvement in the offer. And without the merger prospects, Kkr’s valuation automatically drops by two billion, as are the earn-outs linked to the integration with Open Fiber, and stands at 21 billion, at least one of which is linked to particular conditions. Tim’s advisors (Mediobanca, Goldman Sachs, Vitale&Co, Equita and Lion Tree) still have 20 billion (8-9 of which in debt) of real money on the table.

The aim between now and September 30 would be to bring home another billion, operating partly on the price, partly on the service contract that will regulate the relationship between NetCo and the service company (ServCo) into which Tim will become. The suspense on the Stock Exchange does not ease: the stock loses 0.54%, to 25.80 cents. Also because if the road to the sale of the network has been traced since Thursday, the path remains uncertain, the unknowns numerous. —



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