Telecom Italia shares fall despite CEO support from Elliott Advisors

Telecom Italia shares are trading in the red Monday as the row over who should make up the board and how effective the current turnaround plan is, continues.

Telecom Italia shares fall despite CEO support from Elliott Advisors

Telecom Italia shares are lower Monday as the row between investors over the future of the telecoms business continues.

Telecom Italia’s CEO said in a newspaper interview that his position could become untenable if Elliott succeeds on Friday. The investor, who holds 9% of Telecom Italia shares, said they are fully supportive of Amos Genish but are seeking a more independent board that would benefit the business.

By 1240 BST, Telecom Italia shares were 0.34% lower at €0.82. The stock continues to lose ground as the row rumbles on.

Telecom Italia CEO’s view

After a number of recent meetings and a delay in the election of a new board, Telecom Italia’s current CEO Genish has the support of 98% of investors for his role and plan for the business.

However, there are concerns that majority stakeholder Vivendi’s influence over the Italian telecoms firm isn’t in the best interest of the company. There is also a complex political backdrop making Elliott’s proposed new board members less palatable for Vivendi.

Speaking to the Telegraph on Sunday, Genish told reporters that the current board, which includes a number of members with close ties to Vivendi, supports the existing turnaround plan for Telecom Italia.

“If the Vivendi slate does not get the majority of votes, because this is clearly the only slate to support our long-term industrial plan, I firmly believe my position as CEO would be untenable,” Genish said.

Elliott pledges support for Genish

Following that interview published over the weekend and ahead of the planned election of the new Telecom Italia board Friday, Elliott has issued another statement, underscoring its support for Genish to continue to lead Telecom Italia.

“With respect to certain value realisation opportunities put forward by Elliott on April 9th, Elliott believes that the management team led by Mr. Genish, together with an independent Board should evaluate whether and when to carry out strategic initiatives, in the best interest of value creation for all shareholders,” Elliott said.

“In short, Elliott has sought to offer constructive ideas to enhance TIM’s value creation plan as presented by Mr. Genish on March 7th. There is no alternative business plan. Elliott and its proposed independent nominees fully support Mr. Genish,” the statement adds.

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