What true aims does Del Vecchio have on Mediobanca and Generali? The analysis of the economist Salvatore Bragantini, former Consob commissioner, taken from Lavoce.info
Leonardo Del Vecchio is a great Italian businessman who, coming from the Milanese institute of the Martinitts, created Luxottica , the world queen of spectacle frames, out of nowhere; this in decades of work in the poor and remote Àgordo, now an attractive town in the Belluno area. He then brought it to merge with the French Essilor, leader in lenses. Its share in the merged company (Essilux), which is still limited by the merger agreements, exceeds 30 percent; it will soon become out of control.
OLD RUST STILL EVIDENT
At 85 he does not rest; in addition to Essilux, Del Vecchio has various investments, including significant shares in Unicredit and Assicurazioni Generali. It has almost 10 percent of Mediobanca, where it is the first shareholder; despite the losses (hundreds of millions) already suffered, undeterred aims at 20%, for which the authorization of the European Central Bank (ECB) is needed.
THE TENSIONS OF THE OLD-NAGEL
In 2018 Del Vecchio wanted to take over the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) and its Monzino Cardiology Center; born under the aegis of Enrico Cuccia, Ieo has its registered office at Mediobanca which governs its strategy. The request, which included a donation of 500 million, was rejected by Mediobanca and allies, perhaps uncertain about the designs of those who had already taken over the land necessary for its expansion. A slap difficult to swallow for anyone, let alone Del Vecchio.
THE CRITICS OF DEL VECCHIO IN MEDIOBANCA
He says he is a financial investor, but wants to change course in Mediobanca as if he were an activist and is silent about his goals. The reader will wonder what the strategy is, but the market doesn't know. The regulators – with whom the first contacts would not go smoothly – will ask what goals it has and with what means and people it intends to pursue them. Mediobanca no longer holds the keys to the Italian economy. Today it is an investment bank and acts on the capital markets, but margins and values come mainly from 13% in Assicurazioni Generali (de facto subsidiary) and Chebanca! and Compass, operating in tandem; the collection of the former finances the profitable consumer credit of the latter.
THE OCCASIONS LOST BY THE GENERALS
As Alessandro Penati points out on Repubblica , Mediobanca is a conglomerate without the size to excel in a sector. Del Vecchio, who perhaps agrees, seems to want to control Generali by going from Mediobanca, spending less, mediating the load values, perhaps also revaluing the current share on the way. In Generali, the bank reigns alongside some "heavy" shareholders, including Del Vecchio, who brought together others; they often paid double the shares of the current price. The company has lost growth opportunities to avoid capital increases that would have forced Mediobanca to ask the shareholders for money, or diluted its share. What he wants to do, in the company or in the bank, it is not known: a capital increase of the second to grow perhaps in new sectors, to finance a large operation in the first or what?
THE STATUTE OF MEDIOBANCA
The statute of the bank rewards internal directors; there must be at least three, one of which goes the role of CEO. Del Vecchio wants to change it and could be heard in the ECB, where corporate governance is a sensitive issue; we will see if it authorizes the quota increase and under what conditions.
HOW THE ECB WILL VALUE THE OLD MAN
The entrepreneurial history of man will count, extraordinary but also such as to raise doubts; he entrusted Luxottica to Andrea Guerra for a long time, then pushed him out. Àgordo then saw in a few months a pinwheel of CEOs, which ended with the appointment of a friend and trusted man of Del Vecchio, Francesco Milleri, first IT consultant, today candidate for the Essilux summit.
HOW THE OLD MAN MOVES
Del Vecchio is not the type to travel seated behind, he wants the hands on the wheel to be his or his trusted people, today of Milleri who, say the French partners of Essilux, lack the experience to manage a world giant; it is not a nice business card for the ECB, which at the top of a bank will not want invasive entrepreneurs in management, or their stunt doubles.
LE MIRE DI DEL VECCHIO?
Del Vecchio's non-green age leads one to ask who will entrust control of the empire in due course; especially since it has more than one family. We think of Essilux, but here above all of Mediobanca and Generali. For regulators it is more than a curiosity; they will likely condense any authorization with restrictions to prevent the holder of 20% of Mediobanca from using it to interfere in management decisions, also in Generali.
THE INCOGNITE ON DEL VECCHIO
What pushes Del Vecchio along this impervious road is not clear: rust with Mediobanca or the will to do of those who enriched not only himself but also the community in which he grew up are not enough; Milleri's advice, whose influence on him is growing, will also have counted. In this case the question should be addressed to him.
BETWEEN ITALY AND FRANCE
We leave out the theme of the "Italianness" of Mediobanca and Generali. In times of government Golden Power extended almost 360 degrees, it would be paradoxical to see the two real contenders duel on the subject: Del Vecchio living in Montecarlo and the CEO of Mediobanca, Alberto Nagel, who has a family in London.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/primo-piano/vi-racconto-la-strana-guerra-fra-del-vecchio-e-nagel-su-mediobanca-e-generali/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=vi-racconto-la-strana-guerra-fra-del-vecchio-e-nagel-su-mediobanca-e-generali on Sun, 14 Jun 2020 05:44:14 +0000.