February 23, 2018 / 7:35 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Telecom Italia approves F2i-Raiway bid for Persidera but still open to offers

(Recasts, adds detail, sources, TIM statement)

MILAN, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The board of Telecom Italia (TIM) on Friday voted in favour of the only official offer it received for its stake in broadcasting unit Persidera but left the door open to consider any other binding bids that may be presented.

Only infrastructure fund F2i and towers company Raiway presented a bid for Persidera, which sources said had valued the unit at about 250 million euros ($307 million).

TIM, whose biggest shareholder is French media group Vivendi , said the board had granted CEO Amos Genish the mandate to finalise the deal and consider any further binding offers “should one be made”.

Italy’s biggest phone group did not say whether any other bidders had come forward.

However, two sources familiar with the matter said that U.S. infrastructure fund I Squared Capital had submitted a non-binding expression of interest. The proposal valued Persidera at 290 million euros, one of the sources added.

I Squared could not be reached for immediate comment.

Vivendi last year agreed to sell TIM’s 70 percent stake in Persidera to win antitrust approval for its own plan to gain de facto control of the Italian phone group. The remaining 30 percent is owned by Italian media group GEDI. ($1 = 0.8135 euros) (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak and Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by David Goodman)

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