May 4, 2018 / 2:30 PM / 3 months ago

Vivendi says no longer controls Telecom Italia after shareholder vote

MILAN (Reuters) - Vivendi said on Friday it did not control Telecom Italia (TIM) any more and so the issue of the Italian state exercising special powers was no longer relevant.

The Vivendi logo is pictured at the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate headquarters in Paris, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files

“All the things like golden powers... will disappear out of the window,” a Vivendi spokesman said on the sidelines of a shareholder meeting.

On Friday activist fund Elliott secured two thirds of TIM’s board seats after a shareholder vote, beating out top investor Vivendi.

The Italian government considers TIM of strategic national importance. Last year it used its golden powers to ensure it had a say in some strategic decisions at the former phone monopolist.

The spokesman said Elliott had won the vote on Friday because of support from state lender CDP, which holds a stake in TIM.

“It’s not a market-driven victory because it’s a government owned agency which tilted the vote in favour of an American hedge fund instead of a long term industrial shareholder,” he said.

A Telecom Italia tower is pictured in Rome, Italy March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/Files

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, writing by Stephen Jewkes

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