Vincent Boland: Europe’s most unloved sector beginning to attract advances

The competition-heavy, investment-light approach to the once heavyweight sector has led it to near-extinction. Is the interest of US private equity firm KKR likely to bring one such casualty, Telecom Italia, back from the brink?

28th November, 2021
Vincent Boland: Europe’s most unloved sector beginning to attract advances
Telecom Italia has again become the target of takeover interest, this time from KKR, a giant US private equity firm. Picture: Reuters

In the late 1990s, as Europe’s first wave of corporate mergers and acquisitions reached its peak, a company named Olivetti made a €55 billion takeover bid for Telecom Italia, which at the time was one of the continent’s biggest phone companies. Olivetti started out as a maker of typewriters and was struggling in the new world of computers, but Roberto Colaninno, its chief executive, had outsized ambitions for his company.

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