Telecom Italia CEO Amos Genish and chairman Arnaud de Puyfontaine would be replaced by Italian citizens under a plan reportedly proposed by investor Elliott Management.
Last week, it emerged that Elliott Management was building its stake in Telecom Italia with a view to influencing its governance and strategic direction. The replacement of “certain members of the board” was mooted as part of the plan: Italian daily Il Sole 24 Ore stated the investment company would ultimately seek to replace between five and seven Telecom Italia board members.
The board currently has 15 members.
Genish met with Elliott Management last week to discuss options for Telecom Italia’s fixed line business, among other items. Financial Times (FT) previously reported the CEO is resisting a move to separately list the unit and also spoke out against the prospect of Elliott Management nominating directors to Telecom Italia’s board.
Majority stakeholder Vivendi previously denied it viewed Elliott Management’s move to increase its holding as an attack on its running of the Italian operator.
While Elliott Management certainly appears to be building a stake in Telecom Italia, a brief statement by the investment company issued on 9 March scotched reports this now stands at up to 10 per cent. The company explained it would “make any disclosure” regarding its stake in Telecom Italia “as and when required by Italian law”.
Il Sole 24 Ore reported the legal threshold for such a disclosure stands at 5 per cent.
La Repubblica reported Elliott Management invested up to €800 million to acquire 4.9 per cent of Telecom Italia’s ordinary shares and 3 per cent of its savings shares.
Any move to amend the current board structure will be discussed at a Telecom Italia shareholder meeting scheduled for 24 April.