(Recasts with move for shareholder action rejected, adds
comment from Telecom Italia, background)
MILAN, March 27 Businessman Marco Fossati, whose
family business holds a 5 percent stake in Telecom Italia
, said on Wednesday that the company has rejected his
request to put before shareholders measures that he says would
help revive the telecoms group and boost its share price.
Fossati's Luxembourg-based Findim said in a statement that
Telecom Italia's chairman, Franco Bernabe, had rejected its
request to discuss corporate governance changes and possible
measures to support the company at the company's April 17
Fossati, who is not part of the Telco investor group that
controls Telecom Italia, said the company needed new strategy
and possibly new management to avert risks of a takeover or a
capital hike at a deep discount.
He said the stock could benefit from opening up the capital
to investors outside of Europe, provided they do not take a
Fossati sought to have his requests included in the official
shareholder meeting agenda, but Bernabe said in a letter dated
Wednesday that governance issues could not be part of
In the letter, emailed to the media as an attachment to
Findim's statement, Bernabe said Fossati's demands were
"legitimate" and could be discussed as part of a broader debate
over the company's results.
Fossati said Telecom Italia's results in the last six years
had been disappointing, and repeated failure to meet targets and
dividend erosion have caused the market to penalise the stock,
which has fallen to 0.60 euro per share from 2.20 euros in 2006.
"We are certainly not satisfied, no one is satisfied,"
Fossati said in his request to Telecom Italia.
Shares in Telecom Italia fell more than 3 percent on
Wednesday to levels last seen in July 1997 amid investor
concerns over its debt.
The former telecoms monopoly, which aims to cut net debt to
below 27 billion euros ($34.51 billion) by end-2013, has cut its
dividend and turned to costly hybrid securities to help fund
network investments as domestic margins remain under pressure.
Telecom Italia is 22.4 percent controlled by holding company
Telco, whose investors comprise Telefonica, and Italian
financial institutions Mediobanca, Intesa Sanpaolo
and Assicurazioni Generali.
($1 = 0.7824 euros)
(Reporting By Danilo Masoni; editing by Leslie Adler)