Telecom Italia confirmed its largest shareholder Vivendi has as expected launched legal proceedings against the operator over its decision to agree the sale of its fixed network assets for €18.8 billion.

The Italian operator stated it had received notification of an ordinary writ of summons from Vivendi, challenging the legitimacy of the board resolution passed in early November approving the sale of fixed spin-off NetCo to KKR.

Vivendi stated at the time the board’s decision went against governance rules as it was done so without a shareholder vote, while vowing to challenge the move with any legal means possible.

Telecom Italia argued in its latest statement Vivendi did not formulate any request for precautionary measures, “nor did it request an urgent injunction” to prevent the company from negotiating with KKR or other parties about the sale.

News of the official legal challenge comes after Bloomberg reported last week Vivendi is considering options for its 24 per cent stake in Telecom Italia, with a possible sale on the cards.

Sources claim the French conglomerate has hired advisers to explore possibly offloading the stake, as it pursues a wider reorganisation of its business.

The legal battle over NetCo is the latest in a long history of tussles between Telecom Italia and Vivendi, which have included rows about leadership and strategy.