(Bloomberg) -- Telecom Italia SpA’s largest investor, Vivendi SE, abstained from voting at the phone carrier’s annual meeting, in a move that could indirectly help Chief Executive Officer Pietro Labriola survive a shareholder mutiny.

The French media conglomerate, which owns a 24% stake of Telecom Italia, didn’t support any slate for the phone carrier’s board, Vivendi said in a statement ahead of the former Italian phone monopoly’s annual meeting on Tuesday. Still, Vivendi will continue to pursue a legal challenge against Telecom Italia’s controversial grid sale.

“Vivendi does not wish to be associated with decisions concerning Board appointments,” the French company said.

Activist investors have nominated rival board members and CEO candidates that are disputing Labriola’s plan to sell the Rome-based company’s most valuable asset to KKR & Co. in order to slash debt. The veteran telecommunications executive is the main architect of Telecom Italia’s network sale and has been fighting investor complaints that the approximately €19 billion ($20.2 billion) deal undervalued a crucial asset. 

Vivendi has said it won’t accept any offer below €30 billion.

The grid sale was orchestrated by the Italian government and Labriola, and was cleared in January. Investors have been skeptical of the company’s debt-cutting targets and in March sent the shares down by a record after the company gave an outlook that was criticized as inconsistent with previous guidance.

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