Home Personal Finance With Berlusconi gone, business empire faces succession question

With Berlusconi gone, business empire faces succession question

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milan: Silvio Berlusconi’s passing puts the spotlight on a potential succession battle as his heirs inherit control of the late Italian mogul’s vast business empire.

A Berlusconi family trust, Fininvest controls countless companies in a variety of sectors, from television to film, publishing and football.

Berlusconi’s fortune was recently estimated to be worth around US$7 billion (RM32.34 billion).

Since his death on Monday, speculation has swirled about the future of Italy’s third-largest fortune, from a potential split of the company to whether his children and his girlfriend will fight over the loot. .

The family head held a 61 percent stake in the group until the end. The contents of the will have not been made public, so it is unclear how they will be distributed to the children.

The idea of ​​a breakup seems appealing to investors, as shares of Berlusconi’s TV group Media for Europe surged 13% yesterday on such speculation.

However, Fininvest sought to quash any speculation, issuing a statement that its business operations would “continue with absolute continuity in all respects”.

The group faces a significant test at the end of June when it will hold its first shareholders’ meeting without “Il Cavaliere” (Knight).

La Repubblica newspaper reported in a headline: “Children fight over 61 percent stake in Cavaliere family coffer”.

He had two children, Marina and Pier Silvio, with his first wife, Carla Dall’Orio. Both companies each own 7.65% of Fininvest.

Berlusconi had three children with his second wife Veronica Lario, Luigi, Eleonora and Barbara. The total shareholding ratio of the two companies will be 21.42%.

La Repubblica reported that if Mr. Berlusconi’s 61 percent stake was divided equally among his descendants, the three children from his second marriage would end up with 58 percent of the majority stake. He pointed out that he would own the

However, his two older children hold important positions in the family business.

Berlusconi’s daughter Marina (56) will be the first to succeed him.

Nicknamed the Tsarina or Iron Princess, Marina has a reputation for being the business mastermind of the Berlusconi clan and has been involved in the family business since her youth.

“She looks fragile, but she has a wrought iron personality,” Berlusconi said of her eldest daughter, who was named the world’s most powerful woman by Forbes magazine.

planned migration

Despite speculation about a possible feud, analysts say Berlusconi had meticulously planned his succession.

“Marina Berlusconi was able to follow in her father’s footsteps, gradually gaining freedom of action and independence to become a central figure in the group,” said Andrea Colli, professor of business history at the Bocconi University in Milan. .

“His empire will survive without Silvio Berlusconi because he planned the transition between generations in advance,” Colli said.

He said Berlusconi had not been directly involved in the group’s management since entering politics in the 1990s.

“There is no risk that the Berlusconi empire will weaken,” said Giuseppe Di Taranto, professor emeritus of economic history at the University of Luis in Rome.

“On the contrary, it will be enhanced because his children have proven themselves to be very good managers,” he said.

‘Very united’

Pier Silvio Berlusconi, 54, took over the reins of Mediaset in 2015 after starting his career at Publicia ’80, the advertising arm of the group.

Berlusconi’s other businesses include Bank Mediolanum, Medusa Film Production Company and Serie A football club Monza, as well as properties such as villas and yachts.

“Marina will probably lead the group and, together with Pier Silvio, control the majority,” said Di Taranto.

“I don’t think there will be any discord between the families. They are very united,” he said.

Berlusconi also has a 33-year-old girlfriend, Marta Fassina, a former model and member of his Forza Italia political party.

Could she be the cause of discord? “No,” Colli said. After tensions with Berlusconi’s children, “they found a way to live, to live together,” he said. — AFP

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