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Diego Della Valle Adds to Stake in RCS Mediagroup

Through personal investment holdings, the Tod's chief has reached an 8.7 percent stake in the Italian publisher, becoming the fourth biggest shareholder.

NEWSPAPER MOGUL: Diego Della Valle, or “Mr. Tod’s” as Italian papers dub the entrepreneur, is making headlines again. Through personal investment holdings, Della Valle has reached an 8.7 percent stake in RCS Mediagroup SpA, which publishes Italy’s daily Corriere della Sera, becoming the fourth biggest shareholder of the group. Della Valle previously held a 5.5. percent stake.

In April, the Tod’s group chief clashed with shareholders of RCS, including Fiat Chrysler chairman John Elkann. Last week, Della Valle criticized Elkann and the car group’s chief executive Sergio Marchionne over a change in projects for Fiat’s Italian plants. On Tuesday, Elkann said he did “not understand [Della Valle’s] spite” and that he was “quite surprised that at his age and with his aspirations he acts in such an irresponsible way--” a response to Della Valle’s own remarks about Elkann’s young age and his position. Elkann also said that Della Valle’s investments in RCS are “a sign that he believes in the work we have done there.”

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Asked to comment by daily La Repubblica, Alessandro Benetton, chairman of Benetton Group, on Wednesday urged entrepreneurs to stop these verbal “scuffles,” encouraging “constructive dialogue, ” while avoiding “sly behavior."