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