Telecom Italia shares dip after report of potential delays to CDP bid

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Telecom Italia shares dip after report of potential delays to CDP bid

By Scott Kanowsky -- Shares in Telecom Italia (BIT: TLIT ) fell on Monday after a media report said Italian state lender CDP may need more time to put in a competing offer for the phone company's fixed-line business.

In a report over the weekend, daily Il Messaggero said Cassa Depositi e Prestiti - or CDP - and Australian investment fund Macquarie (ASX: MQG ) may tack on a promise to dispose of some assets as part of their joint non-binding bid. The strategy is designed to help secure approval from European regulators, the paper added.

Italy's government would need to review the offer before it can be approved by CDP's board, Il Messaggero said.

CDP and Macquarie's bid would rival that of U.S. private equity group KKR (NYSE: KKR ), which presented an offer earlier this month that would include a spin-off between the Rome-based company's landline network and service operations.

Telecom Italia shareholders and the Italian government have reportedly been at odds over separating the two businesses, with both sides unable to reach an agreement over the telecom group's valuation, 40,000-person staff, and €25.5 billion (€1= $1.0689) debt pile.

Analysts at Bestinver noted that the market could take a negative view of a possible delay to CDP's offer following past postponements to negotiations.

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