Bonds issued by TIM S.p.A., Telecom Italia Finance S.A. and Telecom ltalia Capital S.A. do not contain financial covenants (e.g. ratios such as Debt/EBITDA, EBITDA/Interest, etc.) or clauses that result in the automatic early redemption of the bonds in relation to events other than the insolvency of the TIM Group; furthermore, the repayment of the bonds and the payment of interest are not covered by specific guarantees nor are there commitments provided relating to the assumption of future guarantees, except for the full and unconditional guarantees provided by TIM S.p.A. for the bonds issued by Telecom Italia Finance S.A. and Telecom Italia Capital S.A..
Since these bonds have been placed principally with institutional investors in main world capital markets (Euromarket and USA), the terms which regulate the bonds are in line with the market practice for similar transactions effected on these same markets.
Regarding loans taken out by TIM from the European Investment Bank (EIB), on May 19, 2021, TIM entered into a loan for an amount of 230 million euros, in support of projects to digitize the country. In addition, on that same date, it extended the loan signed in 2019 (for an initial amount of 350 million euros) for an additional amount of 120 million euros. These loans are currently partially guaranteed.
In addition, on May 5, 2023, TIM signed a new loan with the EIB for an amount of 360 million euros, partly backed by SACE.
Therefore, at September 30, 2023 the nominal total of outstanding loans with the EIB was 1,060 million euros.
The loans with EIB contain, inter alia, the following covenants and commitments:
■ in the event the company becomes the target of a merger, demerger or conferral of a business segment outside the TIM Group, or sells, disposes of or transfers assets or business segments (except in certain cases, expressly provided for), it shall immediately inform the EIB which shall have the right to ask for guarantees to be provided or changes to be made to the loan contract, or, only for certain loan agreements, the EIB shall have the option to demand the immediate repayment of the loan (should the merger, demerger or contribution of a business segment outside the TIM Group compromise the Project execution or cause a prejudice to EIB in its capacity as creditor);
■ TIM undertook to ensure that, for the entire duration of the loan, the total financial debt of the TIM Group companies other than TIM – except for the cases when that debt is fully and irrevocably secured by TIM – is lower than 35% (thirty-five percent) of the TIM Group's total financial debt;
■ “Inclusion clause", under which, in the event TIM commits to uphold financial covenants in other loan contracts (and even more restrictive clauses, including, for instance, cross default clauses and commitments restricting the sale of goods) that are not present in or are stricter than those granted to the EIB, the EIB will have the right – if, in its reasonable opinion, it considers that such changes may have a negative impact on TIM's financial capacity – to request the provision of guarantees or an amendment of the loan contract in order to establish an equivalent provision in favor of the EIB;
■ "Network Event", under which, in the event of the disposal of the entire fixed network or of a substantial part of it (in any case, more than half in quantitative terms) to third parties not controlled by the Company, or in the event of disposal of the controlling interest in the company in which the network or a substantial part of it has previously been transferred, TIM must immediately inform the EIB, which may then opt to demand collateral or an amendment of the loan agreement or choose an alternative solution.
Some TIM loan agreements contain financial covenants (e.g. Debt/EBITDA, EBITDA/interest ratios, etc.), failure to comply with which would entail an obligation to repay the loan in place, except for the loan signed on July 6, 2022, which is backed by the “Italy Guarantee” (in accordance with art. 1, subsection 1 of Decree-Law no. 23 of April 8, 2020, as subsequently amended and supplemented).
The loan agreements contain the usual other types of covenants, including the commitment not to pledge the Company’s assets as collateral for loans (negative pledge) and the commitment not to change the business purpose or sell the assets of the Company unless specific conditions exist (e.g. the sale takes place at fair market value). Covenants with basically the same content can be found in the export credit loan agreement.
In the loan agreements TIM is required to provide notification of change of control. Identification of the occurrence of a change of control and the applicable consequences – including, at the discretion of the investors, the establishment of guarantees or the early repayment of the amount paid in cash and the cancellation of the commitment in the absence of agreements to the contrary – are specifically covered in the individual agreements.
In addition, the outstanding loans generally contain a commitment by TIM, whose breach is an Event of Default, not to implement mergers, demergers or transfers of business, involving entities outside the Group unless specific conditions do not subsist. Such an Event of Default may entail, upon request of the Lender, the early redemption of the drawn amounts and/or the annulment of the undrawn commitment.
The documentation of the loans granted to certain companies of the TIM Group generally contain obligations to comply with certain financial ratios, as well as the usual other covenants, under penalty of a request for the early repayment of the loan.
Finally, at September 30, 2023, no covenant, negative pledge or other clause relating to the aforementioned debt position had in any way been breached or violated.