The Benetton family, founders of the international clothing group that bears its name, is pulling out of its investment in the Italian communication company Telecom Italia.
The family is part of a shareholder consortium, the Telco Group, which owns the Italian company's largest stake with 24.5%. The Benettons were the smallest investors in the group with an 8.4% stake.
Italian media reports suggest the family had been disappointed with the investment and plans to use the proceeds to strengthen other family assets, which include World Duty Free Ltd, various motorway holdings and United Colours of Benetton.
In line with this, Alessandro Benetton, executive vice chairman of the Benetton Group, was in Latin America last week assessing the group's commercial progress. Benetton is working with another family-owned conglomerate, Sears, advancing their presence in Mexico.
As part of the visit the second-generation family member met with owners of the Sears Group, Carlos Slim Helu and his son Carlos Slim Domit, who Benetton made the commercial deal with last year to bring Benetton stores to Mexico. Benetton also met with the president of Columbia, Alvaro Uribe, to discuss the potential of the Benetton group expanding into the country.
Benetton was founded in 1965 by Luciano Benetton and is still majority owned by the Benetton family through their investment company Edizione Srl. The business now operates in 120 countries around the world and recorded 2008 revenues of €2.1 billion.
Pictured: Alessandro Benetton, Carols Slim Helu and Carlos Slim Domit.
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