"PRESENCE" AND "SHARING"
The Managing Director Carlo Gilardi explained very clearly at the shareholders' meeting the strategy lines of the Group concerning the financial management. The Board of Directors will have recourse to the proxy in the next months not only to consolidate (preferably beyond 5 years) the short-term indebtedness that on June 30th amounted to £. 355,2 billions, but also founded on special evaluations about trend. The second reason it will recourse to the proxy comes from the rate market and its dynamic. The Benetton Group has a great part of its own exposure tied-up to “changing rates “, and the Board of Directors trends now to re-convert it to fixed rates. Substantially it is wanted to benefit from what it can be obtained today, avoiding the risk that may perform in future. Such a choice, result of a widespread opinion, has been voted against by some American Investment Funds while other Funds abstained. It would have been particularly interesting to acknowledge from the experts of Funds having voted against, which considerations have brought them to reject a strategy, seeming logic at all and coherent with the interests of the company. One can agree or not about the investment for the purchase by the Group leader of the Benetton Sportsystem S.p.A.; one can agree or not about the evaluation that brought to the determination of price; one can agree or not about the fact the controller company has wanted a cash payment, draining the liquidity of the Benetton Group. All that falls within chooses and decisions that may be deemed disputable at all or partly, but it concerns matters not regarding the deliberation the shareholders' meeting was called to discuss and subscribe. Indeed the agenda marked “consolidation” of the main indebtedness recorded on 30.6.1998 and not its origin. It is the policy of consolidation some Funds (though with many millions of votes) have rejected without explaining why. However Dr. Carlo Gilardi has informed that the 1998 aggregate will be substantially in line with the 1997 one and that on 31.12, recovering the decrease of the first six-months, the net indebtedness has got a remarkable bettering.
CARLO DE BENEDETTI
"THE LOST PARADISE"
More or less once a week, the press is interested in Carlo De Benedetti to report purchasing, projects- agreements - outlooks. - The “Engineer” is running for the Airport of Bologna privatization (allied with the British Airport Authority); - The “Engineer” runs for the Airport of Rome privatization (roped together with BAA and the Banca di Roma);
- The “Engineer” is interested to the privatization of the 13 “Great Railroad Stations “ (partner of the French “Segecè”);
- The “Engineer” has purchased the Novartis Nutrition, owner of the Dietorelle mark;
- The “Engineer” has taken over a participation in the Banca Intermobiliare (and becomes partner of the Segre family);
- The “Engineer” has a son (Marco) President of Infostrada..............
- The “Engineer” “could” aim to enter Telecom “in the big way”.
So the hit “targets” are the participation at the Intermobiliare, the purchasing of the “Dietorelle” and the “the barley wafer” (niche products) as well as the majority of the Aedes. The remaining belongs to the announced “projects” and to the not confirmed “it is told that”. Anyhow the “Engineer” is once more a person “who shows his face everywhere”. He meets, he participates, he issues statements. Sweets, real estate to restore and the “presence “ into the Intermobiliare are, for one like him, only “disgressions”. Also the target to manage airports and railways stations if it can represent a lucrative investment (it is not said that it will be this way!) does not seem to 'fit' him adequately, since it's difficult to deem as realistic his transformation form “financier “ and “industrialist” into “trader”. So the “Engineer” actually “spaces “ among heterogeneous sectors, making thinking he has not yet “individuated” “an undertaking” where “finding again” the role he “feels” he can and he must have in the Italian entrepreneurial activity.. So the today “Engineer” seems being in search of the “lost paradise”, of a proscenium comparable with the Olivetti one when he could assert that the 'aggregate' billing of the group exceeded (by that time!) the 13/14 thousands billions. Maybe the new “big adventure” waits for him elsewhere: where 'intuition' and courage still matters. Telecommunications and informatics?
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