UPDATE 1-The Italian Benettons leave the Mediobanca pact to keep a “neutral” position
(Add details, background)
MILANO, Sep 28 (Reuters) – The Italian Benetton family announced on Tuesday that they would forgo a consultative pact between major Mediobanca shareholders in order to avoid taking sides in a power struggle centered around the merchant bank Milanese.
The announcement came shortly before Mediobanca’s main investor Leonardo Del Vecchio said he would propose amending the bank’s articles of association to give more power to the board of directors and its shareholders.
The decision on the Mediobanca pact comes as the Benettons Edizione holding company defines new strategic directions and reflects its desire to remain “absolutely neutral” with respect to its financial investments, the company said.
Edizione owns a 2.1% stake in Mediobanca. It also owns a 4% stake in Generali, the largest Italian insurer, of which Mediobanca is the main investor.
Mediobanca is involved in a governance dispute at Generali, where he is pushing for the reappointment of CEO Philippe Donnet for a third term, defying the opposition of Del Vecchio and another key shareholder of the insurer.
Edizione wants to keep a neutral stance also on the Generali feud, a source familiar with the matter said.
The Mediobanca consultation agreement, which expires on December 31, covers a 10.7% stake in the bank. (Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; additional reporting by Francesca Landini; editing by Valentina Za)