PARIS (Reuters) – French media giant Vivendi <VIV.PA> called on Friday for the replacement of five of Telecom Italia’s <TLIT.MI> board members put forward by U.S. activist fund Elliott, citing a “substantial lack of independence.”
Vivendi, which holds a stake of around 24 percent in Telecom Italia, has been battling with Elliott since the fund wrestled control of the Italian company’s board from it in May.
In a statement, Vivendi called for a shareholder meeting to be held as soon as possible, asking for the appointments of Fulvio Conti, Alfredo Altavilla, Massimo Ferrari, Dante Roscini and Paola Giannotti de Ponti to be revoked.
Vivendi asked that they be replaced by Flavia Mazzarella, Franco Bernabè, Gabriele Galateri di Genola, Rob van der Valk and Francesco Vatalaro.
“(The five Elliott board members) showed a substantial lack of independence and disrespect for the most basic and fundamental corporate governance rules, negatively affecting the organisation and image of Telecom Italia,” Vivendi said.
Telecom Italia had no immediate comment.
(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)