TIM CEO stays on as Vivendi abstains from shareholder vote

Source: Telecom Italia

Telecom Italia (TIM) CEO Pietro Labriola has held on to his seat, with another three-year term, while the outgoing board secured six out of nine seats on the new line-up, after TIM’s biggest shareholder Vivendi decided to abstain from the vote.

Two minority investors who had tried to oust Labriola over his controversial plan to split the company and sell its network arm to private equity outfit KKR, Merlyn Partners and Bluebell Capital Partners, secured two and one seats on the board respectively. Umberto Paolucci and Stefano Siragusi – an outspoken opponent of Labriola – will represent Merlyn while Paola Gianotti De Ponti will represent Bluebell.

Vivendi, which accounts for itself as a financial investor in TIM since its board representatives resigned, decided to abstain, effectively allowing Labriola to remain in post.

Vivendi said it “does not support the slate put forward by the outgoing Board, given its continuity with a Board during whose tenure the stock price lost half of its value and which is responsible for approving the sale of TIM’s fixed network…at a price which, according to Vivendi, doesn’t reflect the intrinsic value of this asset”.

Vivendi lost influence with TIM in 2018 when activist investor Paul Elliott’s outfit was able to secure approval for its vision and plan on the company.

“Vivendi does not wish to be associated with decisions concerning Board appointments, as it considers that it is incumbent on the ongoing management and its supporters to sort out the delicate situation in which TIM finds itself. Accordingly, Vivendi has decided to abstain from voting on the Board renewal at the April 2024 AGM, despite the laudable efforts of the proponents of alternative majority Board slates,” the French media group said.

Meanwhile Reuters has reported that EU competition watchdogs are questioning whether the KKR deal could have a negative impact on Italy’s wholesale market. KKR has sought EU approval of the €22 billion deal but the report suggests regulators have concerns that could lead to a lengthy probe.

Read Next