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Silvio Berlusconi bids farewell to real estate

26 January, Il Sole 24 Ore

Silvio Berlusconi’s career started in real estate: Milano 2 launched the young developer from Milan before becoming a TV tycoon and then Prime Minister. Yesterday in the headquarters in Via Paleocapa, Milan, the last investment was completed. Fininvest, in fact, sold the project Milano 4. With this last investment, the company has exited real estate. In the past few months, the company had already sold several properties such as the Odeon movie theatre in Milan city centre and another cinema in Rome.

The holding signed a preliminary agreement with the fund Orion Capital which is specialised in real estate operations. The fund bought a surface for 70 thousand Sq m for the construction of 700 apartments. Fininvest was assisted in the operation by Vitale & Co and by the legal firm Chiomenti. For the company, this transaction offers a double advantage, as the paid price of 20 million which will be paid at the closing, scheduled in June, also includes an earn-out clause that might bring the profits up to 60 million. In this way, Ceo Danilo Pellegrino will be able to distribute dividends in 2019. But more importantly, Fininvest got rid of some considerable investments in order to focus on its core business. Milano 4, which is actually the completion of Milano 3 in Basiglio (including 3,700 apartments, the Humanitas clinic of the Rotelli family, and a golf course), will have to be started from scratches and requires investments for 200-250 million euro.

From a technical point of view, the transaction concerned the sale of the company Immobiliare Leonardo (which holds the land in Basiglio) by Fininvest Real Estate. Immobiliare Leonardo represents the real estate division of the holding, namely the former Gestione & Servizi which got all the real estate assets, including some villas held by Idra and Dolcedrago. At first, Milano 4 appeared to be a return of Berlusconi to real estate, where he started in the Seventies with Edilnord. In 2017, Fininvest RE acquired 48% of Immobiliare Leonardo from Paolo Berlusconi, who was the sole owner. At the end of 2018, Silvio Berlusconi bought the remaining quotas and then sold the portfolio to Orion, legally assisted by Dentons. For Fininvest, this is another step towards the strategic re-organisation of the group which was started some time ago by Marina Berlusconi.

Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

Translator: Cristina Ambrosi

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