Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Telecom Italia chairman (pictured), does not view a move by activist fund Elliott Management to increase its stake in the operator as an attack against Vivendi, the Italian company’s main shareholder.
“By definition an activist fund’s approach implies a degree of disagreement with the way a company is run, but we don’t know yet in detail what their intentions are,” de Puyfontaine, who is also Vivendi CEO, told Italian daily Il Messaggero.
Earlier this week it was reported Vivendi could face an ownership battle over Telecom Italia: Elliott Management appears to be building a stake in the operator and is considering nominating directors to the board. The investment company 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.
When asked about Elliott’s move, de Puyfontaine said Telecom Italia’s business plans had been unanimously approved by the board: “We will be united in supporting it in the conviction it is the right one,” he said.
De Puyfontaine also said a merger with broadband rival Open Fiber was out of the question, but the operator was open to cooperation.
On Telecom Italia plans to spin off its fixed line network, he said it would continue talks with the Italian government.