MILAN, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Power struggles at insurer
Generali and Mediobanca have billionaires
Leonardo Del Vecchio and Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone pitted
against the CEOs of both groups.
Here are the key facts in a growing confrontation over the
strategies of both Italy's most powerful investment bank and the
country's biggest insurer, which holds 61 billion euros in
Italian government bonds.
TYCOONS IN GENERALI PACT
Del Vecchio, 86, Caltagirone, 78, clinched a shareholder
pact in September to consult over decisions concerning Generali
ahead of a general meeting in early 2022 to name a new board.
They control a combined 12.5% stake in the insurer, after a
third smaller investor recently joined their pact, and are
opposing a third mandate for Generali's current CEO Philippe
Donnet, who has the backing of Mediobanca.
They have criticised Donnet's M&A strategy as too timid, but
have not explained what their alternative plan is.
MEDIOBANCA UPS GENERALI VOTING STAKE
Mediobanca last week borrowed shares to secure 17.2% of the
voting rights in Generali until its AGM next year.
Mediobanca gets a third of its revenue from a 13% stake in
Generali and is the biggest investor in the insurer.
GENERALI BOARD DIVIDED
Generali's outgoing board on Monday agreed by a majority to
file a slate of nominees for the April 2022 shareholder vote,
including Donnet as CEO. The decision was backed by nine of 13
board members and opposed by the four representatives of the two
Del Vecchio proposed changing the merchant bank's by-laws at
a shareholders meeting on Oct. 28, stepping up pressure on
Mediobanca's top management. Del Vecchio, however, said he was
not pushing for management or board changes.
Luxottica's founder is the bank's single biggest investor
with a 18.9% stake. Caltagirone has also built a 3% stake in
Mediobanca, piling pressure on its CEO Alberto Nagel.
Caltagirone and Del Vecchio are expected to present their
own slate of nominees for Generali's board, suggesting an
alternative candidate as CEO. They are also seeking allies ahead
of the April AGM.
Italy's powerful Benetton family, which owns 4% of Generali
and 2% of Mediobanca, is under the spotlight after announcing it
was leaving the Milanese bank's shareholders pact.
Institutional investors own around 40% of Generali and their
vote would be decisive at the AGM.
($1 = 1.1714 euros)
(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro and Francesca Landini; Editing
by Alexander Smith)