Italian state lender CDP spent €960 million to increase its stake in Telecom Italia, as activist investor Elliott Management urged the operator’s shareholders to back its strategy ahead of a crunch meeting later this month.
A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, showed CDP has now amassed 1.32 million Telecom Italia shares, increasing its stake from 7 per cent to 8.7 per cent. Reuters reported the state lender is eager to hold a 10 per cent stake in time for the operator’s next shareholder meeting, scheduled for 29 March.
The long-awaited meeting is set to determine the long-term composition of Telecom Italia’s board, after the operator’s largest shareholder Vivendi requested the removal of five board members appointed by Elliott Management in favour of candidates it put forward.
Vivendi owns around 24 per cent of Telecom Italia, while Elliott Management holds just under 10 per cent.
The latter took control of the operator’s board from Vivendi in May 2018, appointing two-thirds of the board. Its move was aided by CDP, which at the time held a 5 per cent stake in the operator.
In a statement released today (11 March), Elliott Management turned up the heat on shareholders, as the meeting draws closer.
“Elliott’s presentation outlines the clear choice facing shareholders at the upcoming shareholder vote on 29 March: a choice between stability and the continued recovery of company value, or a return to Vivendi’s poor stewardship with its broken promises, track record of prolonged and pervasive value distraction and contempt for good governance.”
Elliott Management continued to state that Vivendi’s nominees for board election are “unsupportable” and “lack true independence”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back