MILAN — Following a lengthy meeting here, the RCS MediaGroup board of directors agreed Tuesday night to proceed with the sale of the publishing group’s offices in the Brera district on Via San Marco and Via Solferino to The Blackstone Group International Partners LLP, for 120 million euros, or about $162 million atcurrent exchange rates.
The decision comes after RCS entered exclusive negotiations with Blackstone in August, following months of speculation about the future of the troubled publisher, which prints the daily Corriere della Sera and has several big-name shareholders on the roster, including Tod’s chief Diego Della Valle, Fiat president John Elkann and entrepreneur Urbano Cairo.
According to the Corriere, its newsroom committee vehemently opposed the decision, and has presented the Milan Tribunal with a petition, arguing that the sale violates union agreements established in the Seventies. While the newsroom will remain in Brera in the immediate future — thanks to a temporary rental contract — eventually journalists are likely to move to another RCS building in the Crescenzago neighborhood, near the outskirts of Milan.
The Corriere newsroom has been based in Via Solferino since 1904.