TIM CEO interview prompts clarification from Elliott too

Ahead of the TIM shareholders meeting on Friday, activist investor Elliott has felt the need to clarify its position once more.

The catalyst for this, presumably, last public statement before the big vote, seems to have been an interview conducted by TIM CEO (or whatever his job title is today) Amos Genish with the Sunday Telegraph, that prompted a formal response from TIM following the headline claim that he’s ready to quit if Elliott prevails.

While TIM said the headline was misleading, Elliott didn’t address the story directly, but seemed to be equally alarmed by all this talk of Genish flouncing off. Elliott started with its standard line that it thinks TIM is great, but would be a lot better if Vivendi had less influence on the board. It proposes instead an ‘independent’ set of candidates for the board, but still wants Genish at the helm.

“With respect to certain value realisation opportunities put forward by Elliott on April 9th, Elliott believes that the management team led by Mr. Genish, together with an independent Board should evaluate whether and when to carry out strategic initiatives, in the best interest of value creation for all shareholders,” said the statement published yesterday.

“Elliott seeks to ensure Mr. Genish and his entire management team are equipped to maximise the value creation attributable to TIM’s business plan by aligning TIM with international corporate governance best practices and equipping the company with a qualified independent board. To that end, Elliott has proposed a slate of ten independent, highly qualified, credible nominees that share Mr. Genish’s vision for TIM’s future and are fully supportive of TIM’s business plan.”

The statement concludes by stressing how incredibly independent this team of people Elliott has put forward are and what infinitesimally small influence Elliott will have over them. We have no evidence to contradict this claim but Elliott seems very worried that some will think the people it put forward might be especially sympathetic to its agenda, which leads us to wonder why.

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