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Vivendi secures Genish confirmation ahead of TIM battle

Vivendi scored a partial victory at the first of Telecom Italia’s (TIM) two shareholders’ meetings that will decide the destiny of the operator, which confirmed the appointment of Amos Genish as TIM’s CEO.

Amos Genish

The ordinary shareholders’ meeting also approved the company’s 2017 financial statements and the distribution of a dividend of 2.75 cents a share to holders of non-voting savings shares.

Vivendi however suffered a setback with the re-appointment of Roberto Caponi as chairman of the board of statutory auditors. While Vivendi’s slate for the board of auditors secured the greatest number of votes, resulting in the appointment of Marco Fazzini, Francesco Schiavone Panni and Giulia De Martino, Caponi and Anna Doro from the ‘minority slate’ were also elected.

The board of statutory auditors was previously responsible for pushing ‘activist investor’ hedge fund Elliott Advisors’ attempt to secure the revocation of Vivendi-nominated directors and their replacement by its own slate at yesterday’s meeting – a move that was quashed by a Milan judge ahead of the meeting.

Caponi, who secured re-appointment as chairman with 58.3% of the votes cast, has a senior role with CDP Equity, the affiliate of Italian state-backed investment group Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which also co-owns the Open Fiber joint venture with energy utility Enel, a project that can bee seen as a rival to TIM in the fixed broadband space.

Elliott has consistently argued that TIM should divest its own fixed-line infrastructure arm as part of its plan to “unlock shareholder value”.

The second and more decisive round of the battle for control of TIM is scheduled for May 4, when Genish’s mandate, along with that of the other directors of the company, will end and the entire board will be subject to re-election.