March 2, 2018 / 6:08 PM / a year ago

Raiway-F2i won't extend offer for Persidera past Friday: sources

MILAN (Reuters) - Infrastructure fund F2i and towers company Raiway (RWAY.MI) will not extend their offer for Telecom Italia’s (TIM) (TLIT.MI) broadcasting unit Persidera after it expires on Friday, three sources close to the matter said.

The Raiway-F2i offer, which valued Persidera at around 250 million euros ($308 million), was the only binding bid TIM received for the unit.

However, U.S. infrastructure fund I Squared Capital had submitted a non-binding expression of interest for Persidera, valuing it at 290 million euros, other sources have said.

French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA), TIM’s top shareholder with a 24 percent stake, last year agreed to sell the phone group’s 70 percent stake in Persidera to win antitrust approval for its plan to gain de facto control of TIM. The remaining 30 percent is owned by Italian media group GEDI (GEDI.MI).

Last week the TIM board voted in favor of the Raiway-F2i offer but left the door open to consider any other binding bids that may be presented.

This angered Raiway-F2i, one of the sources said.

“Raiway-F2i were quite peeved about the way the whole process was handled,” the person said.

The other two sources added that neither would Raiway-F2i be willing to raise their offer.

TIM has now transferred its Persidera stake into a blind trust to respect a timeline agreed with the EU authorities while negotiations with Raiway-F2i and the U.S. fund continue, a third source close to the matter said, adding the move to the trust had been agreed with Brussels.

The European Commission declined to comment.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, Giancarlo Navach, Giulia Segreti in Milan and Foo Yun Chee in Brussels, writing by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Francesca Landini

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