Milan

RCS rights offered on Milan bourse sell out 3 days early

400-million-euro capital increase underwritten, stock rises 1.8%

RCS rights offered on Milan bourse sell out 3 days early

Milan, July 11 - Remaining rights in RCS Mediagroup on Thursday were snapped up on the Milan bourse - the second of a five-day offering as part of a 400-million-euro capital increase for troubled Italian publisher, which owns Italy's largest newspaper of record, Il Corriere della Sera, among other media assets. RCS Mediagroup stock rose 1.8% on news of the early placement, which concluded three days ahead of schedule. The capital increase is part of a three-year turnaround plan announced in April to save the publisher, which includes selling off 250 million euros worth of non-core assets by the end of 2014. Existing shareholders underwrote 85% of the capital increase, which first was reserved to them. The automaker Fiat, a minority shareholder, levered the underwriting process to increase its stake from 10% to 20.1%, becoming the publisher's shareholder of reference. Fiat did not buy any additional rights during the Milan bourse offering, financial sources said. Tod's shoe-magnate Diego Delle Valle, a leading shareholder who has been at odds with the majority shareholder pact to which Fiat belongs, also declined to fatten his stake during the bourse offering, according to financial sources. The 15 million rights sold on the Milan bourse since Wednesday are equivalent to 45 million shares and 11% of the publishing group's post-increase market capital.

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di Rosario Pasciuto