Telecom Italia to hold extraordinary board meeting on Nov. 26 – sources

FILE PHOTO: Il logo Telecom Italia (TIM) a Milano. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

November 20, 2021

MILAN (Reuters) – Telecom Italia (TIM) will hold an extraordinary board meeting on Nov. 26, two sources familiar with the matter said on Saturday, amid an internal war over the role of Chief Executive Luigi Gubitosi involving top shareholder Vivendi.

Gubitosi, who survived a boardroom showdown earlier this month, has come under fire following two profit warnings in three months at Italy’s former phone monopoly.

Weighed down by an adjusted gross debt of 29 billion euros ($33 billion), TIM is wrestling with fierce competition on its home turf at a time when it needs to invest heavily to support Italy’s drive to improve broadband connectivity.

Gubitosi has outlined projects to squeeze cash out of the company’s assets by spinning them off and bringing in new investors but Vivendi rejected them.

The French media giant sees Gubitosi as only a short-term solution given TIM’s problems and wants a bigger say over the fate of its network assets, sources have said.

On Friday, S&P downgraded TIM’s long-term rating to BB from BB+ due to the declines in revenue and profit, as they are in turn driving the rating agency’s measure of the phone company’s debt burden higher.

($1 = 0.8859 euros)

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Writing by Angelo Amante; Editing by David Clarke)

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