MILAN — Cerruti parent Fin.part named Ubaldo Livolsi as chairman to replace Gianluigi Facchini, who stepped down Sunday after auditors rejected the group’s annual results.

Fin.part said Livolsi’s appointment is just the first step in an overall "renewal" of the group’s corporate governance practices. As reported, auditor KPMG in April declined to certify Fin.part’s 2002 accounts, citing "financial tension" in the debt-laden group’s books.

Fin.part said it will redistribute management powers and map them out at its upcoming shareholders’ meeting May 15. The mandate of the current board of directors is set to expire, so new members will be named at that time and the size of the body will be increased to 11 members from seven.

Fin.part also said it has set up a special executive committee, which counts Livolsi and Facchini as members, to oversee small operations valued at less than $25 million. The regular board will decide on any transactions larger than that.

Livolsi, currently a Fin.part board member, is president and founder of his own Milan-based merchant bank, Livolsi & Partners SpA. He has spent most of his career at Dow Chemical Co. and several firms owned by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his family. From 1996 to 1997, he was ceo of Berlusconi’s TV group, Mediaset SpA, and oversaw that company’s initial public offering.

Facchini said he will continue to provide support as the group’s majority shareholder, but he wanted to "depersonalize" the relationship between himself and the company and favor a more aggressive management approach.

Livolsi said that executing the company’s industrial plan to sell assets and recapitalize will allow Fin.part to create value "in the interest of all of its shareholders."

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