MILAN Dec 14 BlackRock Inc almost
doubled its stake in Telecom Italia to 10 percent at
the end of November to become its second-largest shareholder,
according to documents published by the U.S. Securities and
The move by the world's largest money manager could
potentially tip the balance at a shareholder meeting due to vote
on a proposal to oust the board of the Italian phone company.
Businessman Marco Fossati, an influential investor with a 5
percent stake, and small shareholders group ASATI are seeking
the dismissal of the board, saying they favour the interests of
core shareholders such as Spain's Telefonica.
If a majority of shareholders ditch the current board, led
by Chief Executive Marco Patuano, they would then choose a new
team of directors. The shareholder meeting is due to take place
on Dec. 20.
Telefonica owns 6.6 percent of holding company Telco, which
controls Telecom Italia with a 22.4 percent stake and whose
Italian investors are insurer Generali and banks
Mediobanca and Intesa Sanpaolo.
Blackrock's stake in Telecom Italia is split among several