For sale of the Italian newspaper "La Repubblica"

AThat newspaper, once founded as a vote against the Italian establishment, is now taken over by those who, like no one else, represent the established powers in Italy – by the Agnelli family. Also as a critical voice against this family, which enjoyed almost the status of an unofficial royal family of Italy in the seventies and eighties, the newspaper "La Repubblica" had been founded in 1976 in Rome to compete as a leftist voice against the conservative establishment. The then co-founder and longtime editor Eugenio Scalfari, now 95 years old, enjoys cult status in Italy and still publishes a long editorial every Sunday in the "Repubblica".

Tobias Piller

Tobias Piller

Economic correspondent for Italy and Greece based in Rome.

The fact that the Agnelli family is now buying into this publishing house is a turning point in two respects. Beyond the political orientations of the past, for a long time it seemed as if the Agnelli family wanted to withdraw from the media business. The current head of the family, the now 43-year-old John Elkann, spent a number of years on long trips asking editors-in-chief and publishers around the world how they envisioned the future of the media industry. In 2017 he gave up the 91-year control over the Turin newspaper "La Stampa" by combining his newspaper publisher with that of the "Repubblica" and was content only with a minority share of seven percent in the joint media holding "Gedi SpA" , John Elkann, on the other hand, bought into London's Economist, where Agnellis' family holding company, Exor, now owns 43.4 percent of the shares and 20 percent of the voting rights.

Since then, the entrepreneurial leadership of Italy's most important newspaper publisher has belonged to the entrepreneurial family De Benedetti, which so far had officially owned 43.4 percent of the listed media holding company. Carlo De Benedetti, a historical entrepreneur of Italy, was on the side of the "Repubblica" shortly after founding. Following the merger with "La Stampa" of the Agnellis and the Genoese regional newspaper "Il Secolo XIX", the publisher Gedi now includes thirteen local newspapers, the Italian edition of the internet newspaper "Huffington Post", in addition to the "Repubblica" published as a national newspaper with ten different local sections. the magazine "Espresso" and three national radio stations, which are among the most listened to in the country.

Recently, however, the shops were not so brilliant. The fat years with a sold edition of the "Repubblica" of more than 600,000 copies, between 1999 and 2007, are far behind. Most recently, 221,000 copies of the "Repubblica" were sold in printed and digital form. In the first nine months of 2019, revenue shrank by six percent year-on-year to € 441 million. Instead of a narrow profit in 2018, a loss of eighteen million euros was presented for the first three quarters of 2019. Above all, the "Repubblica", formerly temporarily the best-selling newspaper in Italy, has initially lost the race with the Milanese "Corriere della Sera". He came last on a sold edition of 278000 pieces.

. (tagsToTranslate) John Elkann (t) Silvio Berlusconi (t) Eugenio Scalfari (t) Repubblica (t) Reppublica (t) Exor (t) ISIN_IT0001353140

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