MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) said a decision by statutory auditors to include a vote on board candidates proposed by activist fund Elliott in a shareholder meeting in April was unlawful, adding the company would take legal action to protect its rights.
TIM said auditors can only intervene when the board does not respond to a shareholder request to amend the agenda, but not when the auditors simply do not agree with the board’s decision, which it said was the case in this instance.
The board said it had, by a majority vote, decided to distance itself from the auditors’ decision, which it called “erroneous and particularly serious”.
On top of legal action, TIM said it would also ask market regulator Consob to consider the matter.
Elliott has taken a stake in TIM and proposed to replace six board directors nominated by top investor Vivendi (VIV.PA) in a bid to shake up the way the French media group runs the company.
Following Elliott’s move last month, eight board members nominated by Vivendi resigned, triggering a vote on full board renewal at a separate shareholder meeting called for May 4.
TIM reiterated on Monday that Elliott’s proposal for a vote in April was superseded by the call for a full board renewal.
Reporting by Agnieszka Flak