Vivendi coup of Telecom Italia complete as Chairman replaced

Having got the green light from the European Commission Vivendi has replaced the artist formerly known as Telecom Italia’s Chairman with its own CEO.

It makes you wonder why companies ever bother with full M&A when all you need to do is acquire a minority stake and then manipulate the board such that you’re effective in charge anyway. The appointment of Arnaud Roy de Puyfontaine as Executive Chairman, with Giuseppe Recchi demoted Deputy Chairman would appear to achieve just that.

It looks like Vivendi was just waiting for the all-clear from the EC to make this move, which was duly delivered earlier this week, subject to one condition that Vivendi agreed to.

“Having acknowledged the clearance issued by the European Commission on 30 May 2017 for the Vivendi-TIM concentration, the Board of Directors has appointed by majority Arnaud Roy de Puyfontaine as Executive Chairman and Giuseppe Recchi as Deputy Chairman; Flavio Cattaneo remains the Company’s Chief Executive Officer,” said the TIM announcement.

What Vivendi intends to do about the Italian regulator’s ongoing issues with all this wheeling and dealing remains to be seen. Nobody is suggesting there’s anything dodgy going on here but it does seem odd that one company can assume de facto control of another without even having to buy it.

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