Telecom Italia's (TIM) majority investor, Vivendi, is ready to challenge in court any decision made by the Italian telco's board to sell its landline grid unless shareholders back the sale by a qualified majority, according to Reuters.
The publication cited two sources that noted that Vivendi informed the TIM board of its position in a letter addressed to the company's directors.
Vivendi currently holds a 24 percent stake in TIM.
Earlier this month, TIM confirmed it received a binding offer from KKR for its network grid assets, focused on TIM's NetCo assets, which include the company's FiberCo.
Financial terms of the bid were not disclosed by TIM, though Italian publication Il Sore 24 Ore reports the offer is close to €24 billion ($25.4bn).
Vivendi, however, has previously argued that the valuation of TIM's network grid is closer to €30 billion ($31.74bn).
Such a move to contact TIM's board is likely to ramp up the pressure on TIM's directors, who are set to meet on November 3 and November 5 to consider KKR's bid, which has the backing of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's government.
Reuters reports that Vivendi, a French media group, has gathered five legal opinions saying the sale of the grid, which is TIM's most valuable asset, would change TIM's corporate purpose and therefore require an extraordinary shareholder vote, the sources said.
Vivendi noted in its letter that TIM's directors would be legally responsible for any board decision to sell the grid without such a vote.
But TIM's management thinks the shareholders can be consulted over the network sale in an ordinary assembly, according to a separate source.
TIM has been trying to spin off its grid assets since 2021, while US investment fund KKR has held a long-term interest in the assets.
Earlier this year, KKR submitted a non-binding offer to buy Telecom Italia's (TIM) fixed network assets, with the bid valuing these assets at €20 billion ($21.16bn).
Another offer was reportedly submitted in June by KKR, this time in the region of €23 billion ($24.34bn), which prompted the two parties to open negotiations.
Telecom Italia sees its network grid assets as key to easing its net debt, which currently sits at €26 billion ($27.5bn).