Telecom Italia shareholders reject bid for board's removal by a slim majority

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Dec 21, 2013 04:02 AM EST

Telecom Italia's shareholders on Friday rejected by a slim majority an attempt by dissident investors to oust its board. The said decision allows incumbent chief executive Marco Patuano to pursue his strategy to revive the debt-laden phone company.

MSN Money, citing an earlier report by Reuters, said that rebel investor Marco Fossati vowed to continue his fight aimed at weakening the increasingly powerful influence within Telecom Italia of rival Spanish group Telefonica. Fossati is Telecom Italia's third-largest shareholder, owning a 5% stake through his Findim Group. 

After meeting for more than seven hours, a majority of 50.3% rejected the proposal put forward by Fossati. Fossati earlier raised concerns that Telecom Italia will rush into selling its Brazilian mobile unit TIM Brazil, a rival to Telefonica's Vivo, the report said.

Fossati had hinted earlier that, in the event of losing the vote, he may consider pursuing a legal challenge. Fossati said that it would be necessary to promote Telecom Italia's interest in different ways other than via the shareholder vote, Reuters reported. 

Friday's vote pitted Fossati, against Telco as well as a group of Italian financial institutions that hold a 22.4% stake and managed to appoint majority of the current board. Telco is Telefonica's investment vehicle, the report said.  

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