May 11, 2018 / 3:43 PM / 16 days ago

Vivendi tells Italian market regulator it does not control Telecom Italia: source

MILAN (Reuters) - French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA) has notified Italian market regulator Consob that it does not control Telecom Italia (TIM) after it lost the majority of the phone group’s board seats following a May 4 shareholder vote, a source close to the matter said on Friday.

Vincent Bollore, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of media group Vivendi, attends the company's shareholders meeting in Paris, France, April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Consob and Vivendi could not immediately be reached for comment.

U.S. hedge fund Elliott pulled off a boardroom coup at TIM (TLIT.MI) last week, wresting control away from top investor Vivendi, following a two-month campaign to shake-up the way the French company has been running TIM.

Since becoming a shareholder in 2015, Vivendi had gradually tightened its grip on TIM, appointed the majority of its board last year and its own CEO as TIM’s executive chairman.

Italy’s government eventually used the so-called “golden power” last year to ensure it had a say in some strategic decisions at TIM, a move widely seen as a bid to rein in Vivendi’s influence over the former state phone monopoly.

Vivendi has always denied controlling TIM.

On Friday, the regulator said Vivendi’s stake in towers group INWIT INWIT.MI, majority controlled by TIM, was reduced to zero from 60 percent after the May 4 shareholder meeting.

    Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo; editing by Luca Trogni

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