MILAN (Reuters) – U.S. fund KKR’s proposal to buy Telecom Italia (TIM) includes a letter of commitment by JPMorgan to support the 45 billion euros ($51 billion) financing needed for the deal, Italian daily Il Messaggero reported.
JPMorgan said in the letter it was ready to lift its commitment above 45 billion euros if necessary, the newspaper added.
JPMorgan and KKR both declined to comment.
Two sources familiar with the matter confirmed JPMorgan’s role in arranging the financing for the bid. Sources had previously said JPMorgan was advising KKR together with Citi and Morgan Stanley.
In the non-binding proposal submitted to TIM’s board, KKR has set an indicative price of 0.505 euros a share, valuing Italy’s biggest phone group at 10.78 billion euros or 33 billion euros including TIM’s net debt of 22.5 billion.
Il Messaggero said 34 billion euros in the financing package would be used to refinance TIM’s debt under a “change of control” clause, with an additional 11 billion euros representing a cash confirmation required by market regulators to cover the offer’s equity value.
TIM had 30.7 billion euros in gross debt at the end of September. ($1 = 0.8801 euros)
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Valentina Za; editing by Jason Neely)