MILAN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia's auditors and risk
committee will examine its financial health on Thursday ahead of
a board meeting which could decide the future of Italy's biggest
phone group and its chief executive, sources told Reuters.
Italy's former telecoms monopoly has received a 10.8 billion
euro ($12 billion) buyout approach from U.S. private equity
group KKR in the middle of a boardroom row between CEO Luigi
Gubitosi and TIM's top investor Vivendi.
Vivendi is pushing for change at the helm of TIM after two
profit warnings since July, partly due to a costly deal with
sport streaming service DAZN to screen Italy's top soccer
matches, which failed to boost its revenue.
Auditors will examine TIM's earnings and discuss whether a
third profit warning may be necessary as a result of the DAZN
rights deal, Italian newspapers reported.
A third downgrade to TIM's outlook would further strengthen
Vivendi's hand in seeking a change of CEO.
Gubitosi has close ties with KKR, which last year bought a
37.5% stake in Telecom Italia's last-mile grid and is seeking to
preserve its investment.
Any management reshuffle could complicate KKR plans to
pursue its offer, which is conditional on the support of the
board and the government's approval.
Rome, which is TIM's second largest investor through
state-lender CDP, has special anti-takeover powers to shield
companies it deems as strategic from foreign bids. So far CDP
has opposed any major management changes at TIM, sources have
TIM shares were down 5% to 0.4723 euros at 1335 GMT.
($1 = 0.8913 euros)
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Alexander Smith)