Vivendi indicated it is keeping an open mind with regard to Telecom Italia, following interest in the business from activist investment fund Elliott Management.
The French media and telecoms giant said it still supports the long-term strategy unveiled by the company last week and is committed to creating an Italian telecoms and content leader, Reuters reported.
But it also acknowledged that “like any other shareholder sensitive to leveraging investments, Vivendi would be ready, if necessary, to support another strategy capable of generating a short-term rise in the TIM share price”.
Reuters also said Vivendi chief Arnaud de Puyfontaine could suspend his executive powers at TIM while the Elliott Management debate is ongoing. As chairman, he will have a central role in dealing with the investment fund’s campaign, Reuters said.
It was recently revealed Elliott Management was taking an interest in Telecom Italia and seeking to replace board members so the majority are independent. At the moment, Vivendi is heavily represented, having proposed two-thirds of the board members – including the CEO, executive chairman and executive deputy chairman.
TIM said today shareholders Elliott Management and The Liverpool Limited Partnership had requested items to be added to the agenda at its annual general meeting (set for 24 April), including the removal of six directors (including de Puyfontaine) and the appointment of six replacements.