REFILE-Vivendi's move on Telecom Italia rattles local funds-source

jueves 19 de noviembre de 2015 11:35 GYT

(Refiled to fix fault in text formatting)

By Maria Pia Quaglia

MILAN Nov 19 (Reuters) - Italian funds who are investors in Telecom Italia are worried that Vivendi, the company's top shareholder, might gain too much influence if it manages to secure nearly a quarter of all board seats, a senior industry source said.

The French media group wants to increase the number of board members to 17 from the current 13 and appoint three top Vivendi executives and a French consultant as its representatives at a mid-December shareholder meeting.

Vivendi replaced Telefonica as TI's single largest shareholder in June after taking the Spanish group's remaining 8.3 percent stake in part-payment for selling its Brazilian broadband business GVT to Telefonica Brasil.

The French company then began buying additional shares following the dissolution of the Telco investment vehicle that previously held an unusually powerful 22.4 percent stake in TI on behalf of Telefonica and three Italian financial institutions.

Earlier this week Vivendi disclosed that it now owns 20.116 percent of TI and the source said Italian funds were worried they would see their own influence on TI's board diluted once again. They hold only 5 percent of the company but select board members to represent all institutional investors.

Foreign funds control 60 percent of TI.

When the current board was elected in April 2014, the Italian funds' list of nominees got 50.3 percent of total votes.   Continuación...