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Generali battle heats up as No.2 investor quits board

By Stefano Bernabei, Gianluca Semeraro and Claudia Cristoferi MILAN (Reuters) -A boardroom battle at Generali (MI:GASI) has escalated after the No.2 investor in Italy's biggest...
Generali battle heats up as No.2 investor quits board © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of insurance company Generali is seen on the company headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, November 29, 2019. Picture taken November 29, 2019. REUTERS/Tamas Kaszas/File Photo

By Stefano Bernabei, Gianluca Semeraro and Claudia Cristoferi

MILAN (Reuters) -A boardroom battle at Generali (MI:GASI) has escalated after the No.2 investor in Italy's biggest insurer resigned from the board in a challenge to the reappointment of CEO Philippe Donnet.

Donnet, who is seeking a new mandate as CEO, is at the centre of a struggle between Generali's biggest investors, including construction and newspaper magnate Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone, who on Thursday stepped down from the board.

Caltagirone has teamed up with eyewear billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio, the insurer's third-largest shareholder, to challenge the influence investment bank Mediobanca (OTC:MDIBY), Generali's biggest investor.

Caltagirone holds 8.04% of Generali, trailing Mediobanca's near 13% stake. Del Vecchio is the No.3 investor with nearly 7%.

The two tycoons blame Mediobanca, which reaps a sizeable share of its income from Generali, for holding back the insurer's expansion, people close to the matter have said.

Donnet, who is backed by Mediobanca and a majority of board members, in December announced Generali's first buyback in 15 years and higher dividends in a bid to keep his job.

With Italy's financial sector in consolidation mode, the shareholder tensions are fuelling speculation about possible M&A moves involving both Generali and Mediobanca.

Del Vecchio, 86, in 2019 became Mediobanca's biggest shareholder. Caltagirone has also recently built a stake in Mediobanca.

Caltagirone and Del Vecchio in February are set to present their own CEO candidate and an alternative strategy for the insurer, a person close to the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Caltagirone began his offensive in April when he snubbed a general meeting to approve Generali's results.

In a sign of growing hostility, he voted against Donnet's new strategy in December and has not attended board meetings lately, a second person with knowledge of the matter said.

He joined forced with Del Vecchio in September and their consultation pact over Generali, which includes also smaller investor CRT, controls a stake of more than 16% in the insurer.

The pact remains intact after Caltagirone's resignation, a third source close to Del Vecchio added.

To carry more weight at a general shareholder meeting in April to appoint a new board, Mediobanca has borrowed shares to reach a 17% voting stake.

But around 35% of Generali's share capital is in the hands of institutional investors and small savers hold another 23%, meaning their votes are likely to decide the outcome.

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27-01-2022 18:15:58 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.1146↑ Buy
 GBP/USD1.3387↑ Buy
 USD/JPY115.32Sell
 AUD/USD0.7039↑ Buy
 USD/CAD1.2737↑ Sell
 EUR/JPY128.52↑ Buy
 EUR/CHF1.0376↑ Buy
 Gold1,796.60Neutral
 Silver22.780Neutral
 Copper4.4295↑ Buy
 Crude Oil WTI87.47↑ Buy
 Brent Oil88.84↑ Buy
 Natural Gas4.319↑ Sell
 US Coffee C231.78Buy
 Euro Stoxx 504,184.97↑ Buy
 S&P 5004,326.50↑ Sell
 DAX15,524.27↑ Buy
 FTSE 1007,554.31↑ Buy
 Hang Seng23,807.00↑ Buy
 Small Cap 20001,932.23Neutral
 IBEX 358,706.00↑ Buy
 BASF68.450↑ Sell
 Bayer52.58↑ Sell
 Allianz228.70↑ Sell
 Adidas242.15↑ Sell
 Lufthansa7.045↑ Sell
 Siemens AG140.50↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG11.920↑ Sell
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,195/ 6,235
(0/ 0) # 1,263
SJC HCM6,195/ 6,255
(0/ 0) # 1,284
SJC Hanoi6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
SJC Danang6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
SJC Nhatrang6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
SJC Cantho6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
Cập nhật 27-01-2022 18:16:00
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$1,796.78-25.38-1.39%
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RON 95-IV2486025350
RON 95-II,III
E5 RON 92-II2359024060
DO 0.05S1890019270
DO 0,001S-V1925019630
Dầu hỏa1779018140
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WTI$87.48+0.780.90%
Brent$89.95+0.921.02%
$ Tỷ giá Vietcombank
Ngoại tệMua vàoBán ra
USD22.470,0022.780,00
EUR24.775,4326.164,36
GBP29.663,4530.930,27
JPY191,46202,68
KRW16,2819,84
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