October 13, 2019 / 3:12 PM / 4 months ago

Italy's Carlo De Benedetti makes bid for 29.9% of publisher Gedi - Ansa

MILAN, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Carlo De Benedetti has made an offer to buy 29.9% of Italian publishing group Gedi from holding company CIR, Ansa news agency said on Sunday, citing the Italian businessman.

The all-cash offer was made on Friday through Carlo De Benedetti’s holding company, Romed, at 0.25 euros per Gedi share, the equivalent of Thursday’s closing price, Ansa said.

“This move ... is aimed at relaunching the group I have been associated with for a long part of my life and that I presided over for 10 years, promoting its extraordinary potential,” Ansa quoted De Benedetti as saying.

De Benedetti, one of Italy’s best known businessmen, owned a stake in CIR but transferred his shares to his three sons about seven years ago.

CIR was not immediately available for comment while it was not possible to reach De Benedetti for immediate comment.

Gedi, which is 43.4% owned by CIR, is the publisher of La Repubblica and La Stampa - two of Italy’s leading dailies. The Agnelli family is also a shareholder.

La Repubblica said on its web page on Sunday its journalists would meet on Monday to discuss the offer for Gedi.

The offer is conditional on the board members nominated by CIR resigning with the exception of Exor John Elkann and Carlo Perrone, Ansa said.

In the past there has been speculation over a possible sale of Gedi, including rumours it could be sold to France’s Le Monde group. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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