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Telecom Italia shareholders advised against Vivendi plan

Telecom ItaliaInvestment advice and corporate governance specialist Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has advised Telecom Italia investors not to support Vivendi’s proposal to name four new board members as the French media giant looks to secure a stronger say in how the Italian operator is run. 

Vivendi currently controls about 20.1% of Telecom Italia. Shareholders in the Italian operator are set to meet on December 15 to consider the French company’s request to extend the company’s board from its current 13 to 17 members that will include Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, COO Stephane Roussel, CFO Hervé Philippe and consultant Felicité Herzog.

A group of Italian and international funds have separately already written to Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré asking him to clarify his purpose in making the request, which would see Vivendi over-represented on the board in relation to the size of its stake.

Telecom Italia is the process of converting non-voting ‘savings shares’ to ordinary voting shares, a move that could see Vivendi’s stake diluted significantly.