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Vivendi accuses Elliott of 'time-wasting' in investor battle for Telecom Italia

Investor Vivendi SA is calling the decision to delay a vote on replacing Telecom Italia SpA board members a "time-wasting" tactic devised by fellow shareholder Elliott Advisors (UK) Ltd.

In December 2018, Vivendi urged the Italian mobile operator to appoint new financial auditors and replace five board members nominated by Elliott with its own pool of recommended candidates. Telecom Italia recently called for a March 29 shareholder meeting to vote on Vivendi's request to replace the board members.

"These time-wasting tactics are negatively impacting TIM's financial results every day, as is sadly reflected by the more than 40% drop in the share price since May 4, 2018," Vivendi said in a Jan. 14 statement, adding that this approach constitutes a "genuine denial of shareholder democracy … and good corporate governance."

Since securing two-thirds of Telecom Italia's board seats in May 2018, Elliott has been pushing to divest some of Telecom Italia's network operations, including selling a stake in its tower company and spinning off its phone network.