Elliott sees no need for May vote on T. Italia board if April AGM backs fund

MILAN, March 28 (Reuters) - Elliott Advisors does not believe Telecom Italia shareholders will need to choose a new board in May if they back the board candidates proposed by the activist investor at a meeting next month, the hedge fund said on Wednesday.

Elliott, which wants to improve governance and performance at TIM by shaking up the way top shareholder Vivendi runs the Italian phone group, has built a potential holding of 5.7 percent.

Earlier this month, it called for six Vivendi-nominated board members, including TIM Chairman and Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, to be replaced through a vote on April 24.

But last week eight TIM board members nominated by Vivendi resigned, rattling the activist fund by forcing TIM shareholders to vote on an entire new board on May 4.

“Should shareholders support Elliott’s proposal to reinstate a fully empowered, independent board of directors at the upcoming AGM on April 24, Elliott does not believe another shareholder meeting on May 4 should take place,” the activist fund said in a statement.

The fund’s statement came after TIM’s statutory auditors decided to supplement the agenda of the April 24 shareholder meeting with the motion proposed by Elliott.

Those motions were previously dismissed by the TIM board following last week’s mass resignations that triggered the full board reshuffle. (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Stephen Jewkes)