Founder Urbano Cairo has gained 48.8 percent of shares tendered in a takeover bid, succeeding over International Media Holding, a group of shareholders that acquired 37.7 percent of shares and included Tod’s chief Diego Della Valle; Italian financier Andrea C. Bonomi, whose Investindustrial controls the Sergio Rossi brand, and Mediobanca, among others.
Cairo’s cash and shares offer was backed by a group of foreign funds and implied an enterprise value of 1 billion euros, or $1.1 billion at current exchange rate.
Cairo, who started his career selling advertising for former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s media group, founded Cairo Communication two decades ago and controls Giorgio Mondadori Editore, TV channel La 7 and also publishes popular gossip weeklies, travel, gardening and art magazines.
For years, Della Valle openly criticized the management of RCS, working to shake up the establishment. He repeatedly squabbled with Italian carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chairman John Elkann until the latter exited investments in RCS in March.
RCS also includes Spain’s El Mundo and sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Bonomi, whose Investindustrial last week sold jewelry retail chain Stroili to THOM Europe, said International Media Holding was created “with the goal to provide RCS with a new governance in the name of independence, stability and solidity,” and acknowledged Cairo’s success, “wishing him the best of luck.” He also said that Investindustrial “will continue to put its resources at the service of the development of the country and its companies.”
Cairo’s standing as a publisher was generally seen by the media as an added asset in winning the bid. He raised the offer three times since the first at 0.12 euros, or $0.13, on April 8 to — earlier this month — 0.18 shares in Cairo Communication, which is publicly listed, per each RCS share, plus 0.25 euros, or $0.27, in cash for each RCS share.
By early afternoon trading on Monday, Cairo Communication shares had fallen 6.68 percent to 4.10 euros, or $4.52.
RCS shares were down 5.21 at 0.89 euros, or 98 cents midday.