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Elliott responds to Vivendi TIM assault

Activist investor Elliott Advisors has responded to Vivendi’s criticism of the performance of Telecom Italia (TIM) since the hedge fund’s boardroom coup earlier this year by blaming the company’s existing direction, set by Vivendi when it controlled the board.

Vivendi last week condemned the “disastrous” performance of TIM since the boardroom coup engineered by private equity outfit Elliott earlier this year that saw Vivendi lose control of the company, in which it remains the largest shareholder.

The media giant said that it was “deeply concerned by the disastrous management of Telecom Italia since Elliott took control of its board following the May 4, 2018 shareholders meeting,” citing the sharp drop in the company’s share price as evidence that things were going wrong.

Elliott said it would support Vivendi if the French media group accepted that TIM required “new ideas”.

The hedge fund said that shareholders needed to give the telco ‘s new management time to show that they can create value in “a difficult environment” for the telecom sector.

TIM’s share price has fallen significantly since Elliott took control of the company but this has been against a context of telecom stocks dropping generally. The Italian market has also felt the impact of the entry of disruptive mobile operator Free, with a competitive offering that has captured significant market share.