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TIM auditors board rebuffs Vivendi shareholder meeting move

Telecom Italia’s (TIM) board of statutory auditors has rebuffed Vivendi’s call for a shareholders’ meeting this month to discuss its call for the ejection of board members supported by hedge fund Elliott Management and the appointment of new auditors.

Vivendi triggered a request for a meeting of the telco’s shareholders in December, following the dismissal of CEO Amos Genish, calling for the the removal of chairman Fulvio Conti and four other board members nominated by Elliott.

The Elliott-backed board subsequently resisted the call for an immediate meeting in favour of one on March 29, leading Vivendi to accuse it of “time-wasting tactics”.

Vivendi subsequently lodged a complaint, demanding that the board of statutory auditors verify if the TIM board had acted correctly and calling for a shareholders meeting before the end of this month.

Vivendi, TIM’s biggest shareholder, has been engaged in a battle with the US hedge fund for control of the company for over a year, with Elliott securing control of the board for its own slate last May.

The board of statutory auditors said it had evaluated the procedure that led the TIM board to call a March 29 shareholders meeting that would discuss the matters raised by Vivendi and said that it considered “that the conditions for the exercise of the powers to convene a specific meeting…have not been met”.

The board reserved the right to review its opinion pending an investigation into “the events reported by Vivendi” if these revealed any new information.