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Diego Della Valle Sounds Off Against RCS Mediagroup

Tod’s chairman and ceo, who has a stake of more than 5 percent in the publishing group, was displeased with the decisions made by the main shareholders.

DIEGO SOUNDS OFF: Diego Della Valle has spoken his mind again, displeased with the decisions made by the main shareholders of RCS Mediagroup on the new governance of the company, which owns Italy’s daily Corriere della Sera. The chairman and chief executive officer of Tod’s SpA, who has a stake of more than 5 percent in the publishing group, slammed the proverbial door earlier this week and didn’t mince words with Fiat chairman John Elkann and the presidents of two of Italy’s main banks, Intesa Sanpaolo and Mediobanca. Dubbing Elkann, who is 36, as “just a kid” and “an amateur,” according to several Italian media reports, Della Valle accused them of wanting to control the newspaper and released his shares from the block voting shareholders’ agreement. “I am free now.…Nobody has ever gifted me with shares. And I never had them on behalf of a company, nor did I ever manage them for bank. Those are old-school methods that flounder easily. I can say that I will go on: as person who buys [shares] where he goes, I will continue this way,” said Della Valle in Thursday’s daily La Repubblica.

It is understood Della Valle will continue to try and increase his stake in RCS and to form new alliances.

Last year, Della Valle, who sits on the board of giant insurer Assicurazioni Generali SpA, initiated a shake-up of Italy’s financial world, a tightly knit clique, established and consolidated over the years, leading to the resignation of Cesare Geronzi as president of Generali.