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Italy’s Del Vecchio eyes up to 14% stake in Mediobanca…

MILAN, Aug 11 – Italian eyewear tycoon Leonardo Del Vecchio is planning to raise his 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.

Del 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%. 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 Del Vecchio is eyeing a stake of 13-14% in Mediobanca.

All parties involved were not immediately reachable for comment. (Reporting by Valentina Za, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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