April 24, 2016 / 10:21 AM / a year ago

Telecom Italia auditors opt to supplement April 24 shareholder meeting with Elliott motions

MILAN, March 27 (Reuters) - Telecom Italia said on Tuesday its statutory auditors had unanimously decided to supplement the agenda of an April 24 shareholder meeting with a motion proposed by activist fund Elliott to replace six board members.

Elliott, which wants to improve governance and performance at TIM by shaking up the way top shareholder Vivendi runs the company, has built a potential holding of 5.7 percent.

Earlier this month, it called for six Vivendi-nominated board members, including TIM Chairman and Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, to be replaced.

But last Thursday eight TIM board members nominated by Vivendi resigned, rattling the activist fund by forcing TIM shareholders to vote on an entire new board at another shareholder meeting called on May 4.

The six board members Elliott is looking to appoint include former well-known figures in Italian business.

A source close to the matter however said even if Elliott’s candidates were appointed on April 24 it was unlikely they would be able to take strategic decisions since their mandate would expire at the May 4 meeting.

Last year Vivendi appointed two-thirds of the TIM board and named its own chief executive as TIM executive chairman, raising concerns over a company deemed of strategic national importance.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes

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