Elliott Statement on Telecom Italia
Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited, advises funds (together “Elliott”) that collectively are one of the largest shareholders in Telecom Italia (the “Company”, “TIM”). Elliott notes today’s decision by TIM’s Board to grant Vivendi S.A.’s (“Vivendi”) request for a vote upon the revocation of five Directors at the Company’s Annual General Meeting (“AGM”), to be held on 29 March 2019.
Vivendi’s request represents its latest effort to take back control of TIM and run the Company for its own benefit. Should Vivendi continue to pursue these efforts, Elliott is confident that it will not succeed.
Just eight months ago, a majority of TIM shareholders rejected Vivendi’s poor corporate governance record at TIM and its history of related party transactions, and appointed independent, credible and experienced directors to serve on TIM’s Board. Among shareholders not affiliated with Vivendi, support for change was overwhelming: Approximately 80% of the Company’s independent shareholders voted for this new Board.
TIM’s independent shareholders, employees, regulators and customers desire stability, and a contentious Board election at this juncture only serves Vivendi’s narrow interests. Elliott has sought numerous times to engage with Vivendi in order to resolve differences and move beyond public exchanges. This outreach has gone unanswered. Elliott remains open to a constructive dialogue, which it believes would be in the best interest of all TIM stakeholders, including Vivendi.
Prior to last spring’s vote for change, TIM suffered the consequences of a Board that answered to one shareholder, not all shareholders. Should this new vote proceed, Elliott believes TIM shareholders should not turn the Company back over to Vivendi, but should instead give TIM’s new, independent Board and its new CEO sufficient time to execute their strategy and create lasting shareholder value.
Elliott Management Corporation manages two multi-strategy funds which combined have approximately $35 billion of assets under management. Its flagship fund, Elliott Associates, L.P., was founded in 1977, making it one of the oldest funds of its kind under continuous management. The Elliott funds’ investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of-funds, and employees of the firm. Elliott Advisors (UK) Limited is an affiliate of Elliott Management Corporation.
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