BlackRock raises stake in Telecom Italia to 10%
American investment management company BlackRock Inc. almost doubled its stake in Telecom Italia to 10% at the end of November, according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. BlackRock has now become Telecom Italia's second-largest shareholder.
According to a report by Reuters, BlackRock's move could potentially tip the balance at a shareholder meeting due to vote on a proposal to oust the board of the Italian phone company. Activist investor Marco Fossati and small shareholders group ASATI are seeking the dismissal of Telecom Italia's board. The opposing party argues that the telecom company's current leadership favors the interests of core shareholders such as Spain's Telefonica. Fossati owns a 5% stake in Telecom Italia, the report said.
Should a majority of shareholders ditch the current board, they would then choose a new team of directors, the report said. Telecom Italia is currently led by chief executive Marco Patuano. The shareholder meeting is due to take place on December 20, Reuters stated.
BlackRock's stake in Telecom Italia is split among several funds, the report added.