Activist investor Elliott Management raised its holding of Telecom Italia ordinary shares to around 9 per cent, as it ramped up pressure on the operator’s top shareholder, Vivendi.
In a statement, Elliott outlined its case for change at the operator. It slammed the leadership, stating that “poor stewardship under the Vivendi-controlled board has resulted in deeply troubling corporate governance issues, a valuation discount and no clear strategic path forward”.
It continued: “Elliott believes a board composed of truly independent directors is the most efficient and effective way to improve governance and performance at TIM.”
A crunch shareholder meeting to elect a new board is due to take place on 4 May, with Vivendi, which holds a 24 per cent stake in the operator, also submitting its nominees.
Reuters reported that Elliott also owns call options relating to an additional 750 million ordinary shares, which amount to an additional potential stake of 4.9 per cent.
Italian state lender CDP is also planning to acquire a 5 per cent stake in Telecom Italia to protect the country’s interest in the operator.