MILAN, Nov 8 (Reuters) - French billionaire Vincent Bollore, a key shareholder of Italy’s Mediobanca, said on Thursday he backs and will continue to back the investment bank’s Chief Executive Alberto Nagel as well as Chairman Renato Pagliaro.
Nagel is under investigation in Milan for alleged regulatory obstruction related to the planned tie-up of loss-making insurer Fondiaria-SAI and smaller peer Unipol. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
“I believe Nagel and Pagliaro are high quality executives. I hope they stay at the bank. I will back them for many years to come,” Bollore said on the sidelines of the board of insurer Generali, of which he is Vice Chairman.
Bollore, who owns 6 percent of Mediobanca, said he stood ready to exercise a right if France’s Groupama, also an investor in the bank, were to sell its 4.9 percent stake.
“We will either buy the stake or find someone who buys it,” he said.
Reporting By Gianluca Semeraro, Wrting by Lisa Jucca, editing by Antonellaq Ciancio