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Italian minister calls Vivendi 'awful' investor in Telecom Italia

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Staff Writer | April 16, 2018
Vivendi has been an "awful" investor in Telecom Italia (TIM) , Italy's outgoing Industry Minister Carlo Calenda told la Repubblica daily.
Carlo Calenda
Communications   "I am in favor of foreign investments"
"I am in favor of foreign investments, but this does not mean standing aside when they destroy value rather than creating it, especially when there's a strategic interest at stake," Calenda said in the interview.

TIM has lost a quarter of its market value since Vivendi, the group's largest shareholder with just under 24 percent, first took a stake in the middle of 2015.

Vivendi's management of the company has led to tensions with the Italian government and Rome eventually decided to use its so-called "golden powers" to ensure it had a say in some key decisions.

Vivendi is also facing a challenge from activist hedge fund Elliott, which has a 9 percent stake, and wants to make changes to the board.

Increasing its influence, the government also bought a 4.262 percent stake in the group through its investment arm Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).

The investment through CDP follows a decision by TIM to put its network, which analysts have valued at up to 15 billion euros, into a legally separate company, fully controlled by the phone incumbent.