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MILAN — Tod’s chief Diego Della Valle may have to shelve his plans for Italy’s TV channel La7 for the time being. On Monday evening, parent company Telecom Italia said its board has decided to enter into an exclusive negotiation with Cairo, a communication and publishing group founded by Urbano Cairo, a former assistant of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and president of Torino soccer team.
Acknowledging Telecom Italia’s decision, Della Valle issued a statement late Monday saying: “We wanted to try and build a new media model that would comprise a group of Italian investors, professionals that currently work for La7 and others that would have arrived to try and develop with even more determination a television pole in line with the principles of safeguarding independent information. We hope this happens anyway, the country surely needs it.”
Della Valle, who counts stakes in activities ranging from the new high-speed train service NTV to Bialetti coffee makers and motorcycle firm Piaggio, also owns the Fiorentina soccer team and has clashed in the past with Berlusconi, said on Saturday that he had sent "a serious" declaration of interest La 7 to the board of Telecom Italia.
Claudio Sposito’s Clessidra SGR SpA, which had been eyeing the Roberto Cavalli firm years ago, was also in the run for La7.