Vivendi seeks shareholders meeting to change Telecom Italia board

FILE PHOTO: A logo is seen over the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate Vivendi's headquarters in Paris April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Vivendi VIV.PA is calling for a shareholders meeting to change the board at Telecom Italia TLIT.MI including five members proposed by activist fund Elliott, the French media conglomerate said on Tuesday.

Vivendi, which holds a stake of around 24 percent, has been battling with Elliott over Telecom Italia, where Elliott wrested control over the board from Vivendi in May.

Vivendi said a decision by Telecom Italia this month not to convene a shareholders meeting to choose new auditors went against the principles of proper corporate governance.

“For this reason, Vivendi has decided to write to the board before the end of the week, to urge it to convene a shareholders’ meeting as soon as possible to appoint new financial auditors, revoke five current board members from the Elliott list of 10, particularly those who were involved in these governance issues, and propose five new ones,” Vivendi said in a statement.

In November, Telecom Italia appointed Luigi Gubitosi as chief executive in a move seen as suggesting a more aggressive shake-up of the company which prompted his predecessor to call for a shareholder vote on the potential change in strategy.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Leigh Thomas and Jason Neely