December 2, 2019 / 5:36 PM / 5 days ago

Milan prosecutors probe Del Vecchio's stake building in Mediobanca-sources

MILAN, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Milan prosecutors have opened an investigation into the purchase of a stake of just under 10% in investment bank Mediobanca by billionaire tycoon Leonardo Del Vecchio, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

No individuals or companies have been placed under investigation and no allegations of wrongdoing have been brought at this stage, the sources said.

A spokesman for Del Vecchio’s holding company Delfin was not immediately available for comment.

Del Vecchio, founder of eyewear group Luxottica, snapped up a stake of 7% in Mediobanca in September and then increased it to almost 10% last month after the bank’s decades-long partner UniCredit sold its own holding.

The businessman is now Mediobanca’s top shareholder.

The investigation by the prosecutors follows an inspection of Luxottica’s Milan offices carried out last month by market watchdog Consob and Italy’s financial police, a third source said.

Consob wants to verify the manner in which Del Vecchio’s holding Delfin acquired the stake in Mediobanca, the sources said.

After Luxottica’s merger with France’s Essilor, Del Vecchio is executive chairman of the combined group EssilorLuxottica .

Reporting by Emilio Parodi and Alfredo Faieta, writing by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Stephen Jewkes

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