TIM's Vivendi execs quit, new board in May (6)

Inc. Chairman Arnaud de Pouyfontaine

(ANSA) - Milan, April 22 - TIM directors representing majority shareholder Vivendi tendered their resignations Thursday, effective April 24, the date of the AGM. The board will be renewed on May 4, TIM said in a statement. The resignations included that of Chairman Arnaud de Pouyfontaine, who said "as chairman of TIM and in the interest of all the shareholders, I wan to free the board of the climate of uncertainty that has been created and which distracts attention from what is our priority, that is the rapid realisation of the DigiTim strategic plan".
    He went on: "I confirm my commitment to the plan to transform TIM and I am convinced that this decision will give further stability and support to our CEO Amos Genish and his team, enabling us to create value for all our stakeholders".
    TIM's American depositary receipts fell 4.3% in New York on the chairman's resignation.
    A week ago the Elliott fund asked the TIM board to revoke six directors including chairman de Puyfontaine, and the deputy executive president Giuseppe Recchi, replacing them with six of their own.
    The other four directors Elliott International, Elliott Associates and The Liverpool Limited Partnership wanted replaced are Herve' Philippe, Fre'de'ric Cre'pin, Fe'licite' Herzog and Anna Jones.
    Four of these directors are linked directly to shareholder Vivendi while two are independents but still elected in the majority partner's list.
    Elliott and the other two investors said they wanted them to be replaced by the following six: Fulvio Conti, Massimo Ferrari, Paola Giannotti De Ponti, Luigi Gubitosi, Dante Roscini and Rocco Sabelli.
    TIM said it would add the issue to its agenda for a shareholders meeting on April 24.
    Financial sources said Elliott's problem was Vivendi and not CEO Amos Genish, who was not included among the execs it wants to replace.
    They said the fund considered Genish a very competent TLC expert and his business plan well constructed, and it appreciated the way the management handled the day-to-day running of TIM.
    The problems linked to Vivendi allegedly included conflicts of interest that allegedly spurred operations deemed disadvantageous for minority shareholders, the financial sources said.
    US investor Elliott's plan for TIM which envisages spinning off and floating the network "is a project that coincides with what we intend to do for the public interest," Industry Minister Carlo Calenda said Wednesday.
    "But I think that TIM, too, was oriented in this direction," the minister added.


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