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EL - EssilorLuxottica SA News Story

€140.7 1.4  1.0%

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Consumer Cyclicals
Large Cap
Market Cap £52.95bn
Enterprise Value £56.02bn
Revenue £12.54bn
Position in Universe 18th / 848

UPDATE 1-Del Vecchio gets ECB green light to raise Mediobanca stake - source

Wed 26th August, 2020 2:42pm
(Adds source, background detail,)
    By Claudia Cristoferi and Stefano Bernabei
    MILAN, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Eyewear tycoon Leonardo Del
Vecchio has won approval from the European Central Bank to raise
his 9.9% holding in Mediobanca  MDBI.MI  above a 10% threshold,
a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.
    The move, which further reinforces Del Vecchio's position as
Mediobanca's biggest shareholder, opens the way for a shake-up
in key sectors of Italian finance, with speculation focusing on
insurer Generali  GASI.MI .
    Mediobanca is Generali's biggest shareholder, with a 13%
stake and Del Vecchio, who holds a further 4.8% stake in the
insurance group, has said he aims to create a stable ownership
base for both Mediobanca and Generali. Sources close to the 85
year-old billionaire have said he wants to restore Generali's
former European presence.
    Both Del Vecchio's holding company Delfin and Mediobanca
declined to comment.
    The ECB's approval allows Del Vecchio to take his stake up
to a maximum of 20%.    
    Del Vecchio, who founded Luxottica, the company behind Ray
Ban sunglasses, filed the request with the ECB on May 29, after
building up his stake in Mediobanca last year, to the surprise
of the market and the bank's management.
    The Milanese merchant bank has not had a single non-banking
shareholder owning more than 10% since it was founded in 1946.
    Earlier this month, Il Sole 24 Ore and La Repubblica
reported that Del Vecchio planned to raise his stake in
Mediobanca to 13-14% after ECB approval. At the time, a
representative for Del Vecchio declined to comment.*:nL8N2FD1X3
     A source close to the billionaire told Reuters in June that
his plans did not include a cross-border merger of Generali with
rivals AXA  AXAF.PA  or Zurich  ZURN.S , easing Rome's concern
over the future of Generali, a large holder of Italian
government bonds.*:nL8N2DG2IO
    The next step will be Mediobanca's board renewal in the
autumn. Del Vecchio is not expected to submit a list of
candidates because he will not be seeking representation on the
board of directors, sources have said.
   Mediobanca's annual shareholder meeting will be held on Oct
28 and the lists of candidates are expected to be presented a
month earlier.

 (Editing by Hugh Lawson and Jane Merriman)
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