The UK-based, US-owned investment firm Elliott Advisors has criticised a decision by the board of Telecom Italia (TIM) to take legal action over Elliott’s plans to hold a vote on new board members at the telco’s AGM later this month. The 24 April vote has been backed by statutory auditors, but TIM has challenged the legality of the decision, which it called ‘erroneous and particularly serious’.
TIM shareholder Vivendi wants the election of a new board to take place at a separate shareholders meeting on 4 May. Both Elliott and Vivendi have nominated their own lists of candidates for the vote and Vivendi is thought to want more time before the vote in order to win the backing of other shareholders for its own nominations.
In a statement, Elliott Advisors said: ‘In its latest assault on shareholder rights, the Board of Telecom Italia, backed by its largest shareholder Vivendi, is now challenging the recent ruling by the Board of Statutory Auditors. Stakeholders should see this for what it is – another cynical attempt by Vivendi to avoid accountability and delay a shareholder vote.’ As reported by CommsUpdate yesterday, Elliott has increased its stake in TIM to 8.8%, with options to raise this further, to around 13.7%.