Telecom Italia SpA chairman Guido Rossi has resigned from his post following a prolonged falling out Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera. Vice chairman Carlo Buora will take on Rossi’s operational responsibilities.
On April 6 Rossi told Italian media that Tronchetti Provera asked him to take over as chairman last September as he wanted Rossi to get him out of an awkward position. Italy’s government was questioning Tronchetti Provera’s decisions regarding alliances and selling parts of the company, and according to Rossi, Tronchetti’s position “seemed unrecoverable.” However, Rossi claims that when he tried to clear up the conflicts of interest that existed between Tronchetti and Telecom Italia, the two men entered on a collision course.
Following recent news that Pirelli & C. SpA is contemplating selling its entire stake in Olimpia, its partner in the joint venture company, Edizione Holding Spa, has announced it has not ruled retaining its stake in the company even if Pirelli pulls out. Edizione, a holding company owned by the Benetton family, owns a 20 per cent share in Olimpia, with the remainder in Pirelli’s hands.
“We have a pact with Pirelli and in case of sale we have to sell along with Pirelli.” said Edizione shareholder Gilberto Benetton. “But unlike Pirelli, we are willing to assess other projects; it depends on who buys Pirelli’s stake. We are not running away,” he added. Pirelli has announced that, on March 12, it gave a mandate to chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera to sell its stake in Olimpia.
Marco Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli chairman and former chairman of Telcom Italia, has issued a strongly worded statement published by Italian Daily La Stampa on 21 January stating that he had never acted illegally in his professional career, nor ordered anyone else to do so.
Italian corporate giant Pirelli & Co SpA is reportedly in favour of seeing its tyre division listed on the stock exchange in March or April as trading conditions improve.
Pirelli’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) plans for the tyre division were dropped last year because market conditions were deemed unfavourable at the time, and instead the company agreed to sell a 38.9 per cent stake in the operation to a company controlled by six Italian and foreign banks. Pirelli & C SpA received 740 million euros (£499 million) from the sale of the 38.9 per cent share.
Under the terms of this agreement, Pirelli has an option to buy back the shares if the banks do not conduct an IPO within four and a half years.
On Thursday 16 November the 2007 Pirelli Calendar (dubbed “a bed and five stories”) was launched at a star-studded event at the Battersea Evolution Park in London. Five acclaimed Hollywood actresses star in the new calendar – Sophia Loren, Penelope Cruz, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts and Lou Doillon – but celebrities from Michael Caine to the Italian Ambassador, not to mention business leaders including Pirelli SpA chairman, Marco Tronchetti Provera and Pirelli Tyre CEO, Dr Francesco Gori, could also be seen at the launch. The new calendar was photographed by the Dutch duo Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin in California.
Following the public dispute initiated by Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, Marco Tronchetti Provera has now resigned from his position as boss of Telecom Italia. Although Tronchetti Provera always claimed the acquisition of the Italian Mobile Telephone Company TIM and its integration into Telecom Italia was an excellent strategic move, last week he revealed that a split into two separate companies again would be even better.
Marco Tronchetti Provera, boss of both Telecom Italia (TI) and Pirelli, is to force the merger of TI with its daughter company Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM), Italian media sources are reporting. According to the Italian media, TI is aiming to submit an official requirement for the 44 per cent of TIM, which is still in circulation, next week. The cost is estimated at 19 billion euros. Olimpia Holding is TI’s dominant shareholder, while Olimpia itself is controlled by Pirelli.
Whilst presenting the new Pirelli Calendar 2004 in London yesterday evening, Pirelli’s chairman and CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera asked the guests for a minute’s silence in commemoration of the victims from a bomb attack on an Italian military base in Iraq in which 15 Italian soldiers and others were killed. The new 2004 Calendar that was then presented by photographer Nick Knight and art director Peter Saville, takes getting used to. Star model of the evening was undoubtedly the Sudanese Alek Wek, who enjoys large reputation also because of various social commitments.
Following speculation over the last year, Pirelli has confirmed that it is retaining its Commercial Vehicle Tyre Operation, and that this sector will now be headed up by Alberto Pirelli in Milan. Chairman, Marco Tronchetti Provera, said: “Pirelli is in the best position to manage and develop its assets, as demonstrated by its improved performance against major competitors and given the Group’s ability to finance its own growth, there is no necessity for any sale. Restructuring within the Pirelli Group and its new three-year plan show good prospects in terms of profitability and cash flow”.
Pirelli is reported to be moving its group treasury operations and investor relations activities to London – seen as a move to an eventual listing on the London Stock Exchange. This reflects the growing international nature of the group, with the Italian market now accounting for 13% of annual revenue. Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera is reported as saying that he wants to expand the group, with analysts suggesting that any acquisitions would be in high-technology areas such as telecoms and energy.
Pirelli is to expand its property activities by setting up a new property company in London. The company manages a current property portfolio worth 8 bn Euros and Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera has said that the new company will be used to expand the company’s property activities outside Italy. Recently, Pirelli moved its treasury and investor relations to London.
There are reports in the press that the recent deal whereby Pirelli acquired control of Telecom Italia, could result in some sort of merger, perhaps even a three-way alliance between Pirelli, Olivetti and TI. Pirelli Chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera says that “the structure above Telecom Italia needs to be simplified” but he could say no more until all options had been studied and evaluated.
At a press conference in Milan, Mr. Marco Tronchetti Provera and Mr. Giovanni Ferrario reacted to speculation that Pirelli might diversify into other automotive components, as has Continental. Tyres “will continue to be an absolute core global business for Pirelli” they said, and emphasised that Pirelli would maintain its independence, while seeking alliances “wherever appropriate”.