Telecom Italia denies board meeting plan as Vivendi and Elliott clash over goodwill write-down

Telecom Italia (TIM) has issued an assurance that it has no plans to call an extraordinary session of its administrative board that could see a move to oust CEO Amos Genish, according to multiple press reports.

Amos Genish

According to a report by Italy’s Il Messagero, a number of members of the board, supported by hedge fund Elliott, have been seeking a meeting to replace Genish, who is seen as being close to Elliott’s arch-enemy Vivendi, Telecom Italia’s largest shareholder.

Vivendi has indicated that it is wholeheartedly behind Genish, who was reaffirmed as TIM’s CEO in May.

Vivendi had condemned a decision by TIM to make a goodwill write-down on its domestic business unit of €2 billion in its most recent quarterly financial statement, leading the group to plunge into the red to the tune of €800 million.

In its quarterly results statement, TIM said that the write-down followed “an impairment test” and was “due to the deterioration of the completive and regulatory context” in which the company is placed, as well as to the impact of increased interest rates.

Vivendi has accused Elliott, whose representatives have dominated TIM’s board since the company succeed in replacing Vivendi’s majority slate with its own earlier this year, of trying to drive down TIM’s share price in its own interests.

TIM has lost about 29% of its value on the Milan stock exchange since the start of this year.

The company posted nine months revenues of €14.2 billion, up 1.1% on an organic basis, and EBITDA of €6.2 billion, stable year-on-year excluding the impact of non-recurring charges.

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