Vivendi has submitted a new raft of nominations to the Telecom Italia (TIM) board as activist investor Elliott Management prepares to challenge its hold over the operator.
Seven of the French media group's nominated directors resigned last month after Elliott sent an open letter to TIM shareholders calling for six representatives to be replaced.
The activist investor accused the current board of “poor stewardship” which had resulted in “deeply troubling corporate governance issues, a valuation discount and strategic failures”.
However, Vivendi has re-nominated five of those who resigned, saying: “Vivendi is today presenting a new slate of candidates for the Board of Telecom Italia which is uniquely qualified to take the company forward under the leadership of Amos Genish who has already demonstrated his strengths as a CEO since his appointment late September 2017.
“We have made changes to strengthen the technical competence of the Board as well as drawing on a wider range of expertise and opinions."
Re-nominated candidates include Vivendi’s CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine (pictured), who is nominated for a non-executive Chairman role rather than his previous role as Executive Chairman, Vivendi’s General Counsel Frédéric Crépin and independent directors Camilla Antonini, Anna Jones and Marella Moretti.
It did not re-nominate its CFO Hervé Philippe nor the independent Félicité Herzog.
New faces to be nominated include Vivendi’s Chief Operating Officer Stephane Roussel, former diplomat Michele Valensise and law professor Giuseppina Capaldo.
Current board members TIM CEO Amos Genish, a former Vivendi exec, and Franco Bernabè were also re-nominated.
Vivendi also proposed rules setting the number of directors at 15 and setting the term of office at three years.
The names were announced ahead of the shareholder election on 4 May, which will see them go head-to-head with candidates from Elliott.
Elliott this week upped its stake in TIM to 9.9 percent, while Italian state lender CDP has said it also plans to take a stake of five percent ahead of the vote.