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EU Court upholds ECB's ruling to deny Berlusconi retention of Mediolanum stake

·1-min read
Former Italian PM Berlusconi attends a rally in Rome

MILAN (Reuters) - The European Union's top court said on Wednesday it had upheld a decision by the European Central Bank (ECB) to prevent Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi from retaining a 30% stake in lender Banca Mediolanum.

According to the ruling, the General Court's Second Chamber upheld the decision to deny the acquisition by Berlusconi's family holding company Fininvest of the increased stake in the Italian bank.

"He (Berlusconi) did not meet the reputation requirement applicable to those with qualifying holdings due to his conviction for tax fraud in 2013," the EU Court of Justice said in a statement.

Fininvest said it planned to appeal against the verdict.

Back in 2018, the Court said it alone had power to rule on the legality of the ECB decision two years earlier to oppose Berlusconi's stake buy. That in turn followed a procedure by the Bank of Italy stating Fininvest had to cut its stake in Mediolanum to below 10%.

In a comment to the ruling, Fininvest rejected the EU Court's motivations and said it deemed them "seriously flawed."

The holding company added that it had already instructed its lawyers to appeal the judgment before the EU Court.

(Reporting by Federico Maccioni; Editing by Keith Weir)

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