MILAN — Victor Uckmar, the tax lawyer hired by former Valentino chairman Matteo Marzotto earlier this week in response to a probe initiated by Italy’s financial police, on Friday clarified several of the judge’s statements regarding the confiscation of some of the family’s assets.
This story first appeared in the November 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Uckmar noted that the investment fund to which the capital derived from the sale of Valentino Fashion Group was allegedly transferred, is based in Ireland and not in the Cayman Islands, as the judge stated.
He added that, since 2007, the fund is publicly listed in the Netherlands, on the Euronext Stock Exchange in Amsterdam, under the watch of the Dutch Stock Exchange authorities, or Autoriteit Financiële Markten, the equivalent of the Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S.
Another point Uckmar made is that the investment management of the fund is entrusted to Leo Fund Managers Ltd., a London-based firm, controlled by the Financial Services Authority, the equivalent of the Bank of Italy. Uckmar highlighted that “primary institutional Italian investors have invested in this fund” and that all this information and data are available on the Web sites of the fund. “The above is also already known to the Italian tax authorities, which have acquired all the relevant information after a specific inspection activity carried out in Italy at primary Italian financial intermediaries,” concluded Uckmar.
As reported, 13 individuals, including members of the Marzotto family, are being investigated for alleged omission of earnings and assets declaration in association with the sale of Valentino Fashion Group to private equity fund Permira in 2007.
A Milan branch of the Guardia di Finanza, an Italian police force under the authority of the national Minister of Economy, has confiscated assets, including land and real estate properties, worth more than 65 million euros, or $83.4 million at current exchange, owned by a number of Marzotto family members. The properties include villas in the luxury mountain resort Cortina d’Ampezzo; apartments in Milan and Rome, and a castle in Trissino, near Vicenza and not far from the Marzotto headquarters in Italy’s Valdagno.