Milan - Italian eyewear tycoon Leonardo Del Vecchio is planning to raise its stake in financial group Mediobanca to 13-14% after he receives an approval from the European Central Bank later this month, two Italian dailies reported on Tuesday. Del Vecchio, founder of Ray-Ban owner Luxottica, sought ECB clearance in June to spike his Mediobanca holding above 10% and up to 20%, in a move that raised the prospect of far-reaching changes in Italy's financial landscape.
Italy's Mediobanca has not had a single non-banking shareholder owning more than 10% since it was founded in 1946. Vecchio's move has fuelled speculation his ultimate goal could be a shake-up involving Generali, Italy's biggest insurer in which Mediobanca is the single largest shareholder with 13%.
Del Vecchio owns 4.8% of Generali and under 10% in Mediobanca. Del Vecchio, 85, has said he aims to create a stable ownership base for Generali and Mediobanca, which for decades pulled the strings in Italy's corporate world. The ECB's go-ahead is expected around Aug. 20, a source familiar with the matter had told Reuters. Dailies Il Sole 24 Ore and la Repubblica both reported that Vecchio is eyeing a stake of 13-14% in Mediobanca. All parties involved were not immediately reachable for comment.