Vivendi could face an ownership battle over Telecom Italia, with an activist investor eyeing the Italian incumbent.
Bloomberg reported Elliott Management is building a stake in Telecom Italia, is considering nominating directors to the board, and also contacted Italian investors to get on board with its move. The investor is said to be concerned about a share slide and the performance of the business since Vivendi took majority control of the board in 2016.
Citing Italian sources, Reuters said Elliott Management currently holds a 6 per cent stake in the operator and will present an alternative business plan.
Telecom Italia’s annual meeting, at which new board nominees could be put forward, is scheduled for 24 April.
Vivendi’s increased influence in Telecom Italia faced opposition. In late 2017, the Italian government exercised “golden power” over Telecom Italia (which it is able to do with companies of strategic importance to the state), giving it increased say over a number of management issues.
There have also been recent reports Telecom Italia is set to spin-off its fixed-line network into a separate unit.
Vivendi is also embroiled in issues related to its ownership of media company Mediaset which, alongside the Telecom Italia holding, puts the company at odds with the country’s media ownership rules.