April 23, 2018 / 10:02 AM / 5 months ago

Italy judge rules in favour of Telecom Italia, Vivendi appeal on April board vote

MILAN, April 23 (Reuters) - A judge ruled in favour of an appeal presented by Telecom Italia (TIM) and its top investor Vivendi to block a vote on board director replacements at an April 24 shareholders meeting proposed by activist fund Elliott, a document showed.

The activist fund has built a stake of 9 percent in TIM in a bid to shake-up the way Vivendi has been running Italy’s biggest phone group.

Paul Singer’s fund had called for six Vivendi-nominated board members, including TIM Chairman and Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, to be replaced with well-known Italian business leaders in a bid to improve governance and strategy.

But following Elliott’s move, eight board members nominated by Vivendi resigned, triggering a vote on a full board renewal at a separate shareholder meeting called for May 4.

Despite the mass resignations, TIM’s statutory auditors included Elliott’s proposal in the agenda for the April meeting - a decision TIM’s board and Vivendi had challenged in court.

The judge ruled that the mass resignations required for the full board to be re-elected rather than individual board members being temporarily replaced.

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, Stefano Rebaudo and Manuela D'Alessandro

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