Telecom Italia pushes back on board shake-up - Mobile World Live

Telecom Italia pushes back on board shake-up

09 MAR 2018

Telecom Italia’s CEO does not want so-called activist investor Elliott Management to nominate directors to its board and force it to make any rushed decisions, Financial Times reported.

Earlier this week Elliott Management, which is reportedly building up a stake in the operator, said “governance, valuation, strategic direction and relationships with Italian authorities would be improved by replacing certain members of the board”.

Telecom Italia chief Amos Genish (pictured) is due to meet Elliott Management in London today (9 March) as part of an investor roadshow and listen to its demands.

Genish said he will push back against attempts to merge Telecom Italia’s Brazilian phone network with that of troubled operator Oi, which he believes is a possible reason behind Elliott Management’s move to nominate directors.

He also stated forcing Telecom Italia to float its fixed line business, which is being spun off into a separately owned company, would be premature and could upset its bondholders.

Telecom Italia, which holds debt of €24 billion, formed a recovery plan covering the next three years which includes a resumption of dividend payments in 2019 or 2020.

This could be at risk if there was a move to merge with Oi, which is in bankruptcy protection, Genish said.

He stated the company’s growth plan was developed after discussions with shareholders, who will vote on it at a meeting in April.

Meanwhile earlier this week Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Telecom Italia chairman and CEO of Vivendi, the operator’s main shareholder, said he did not view the move by Elliott Management to increase its stake as an attack against the French media group.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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