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Italy fines LVMH boss over Bulgari deal

By AFP

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Business

Italy's stock exchange watchdog has fined Antonio Belloni, managing director of French luxury group LVMH, 350,000 euros (389,000 US dollars) for divulging confidential information about an upcoming acquisition, it announced Wednesday.

The fine relates to the 2011 announcement by Italian jewellery firm Bulgari that it had been taken over by LVMH, offering 60 percent more than the company's share value at the time.

Before the announcement was made, Belloni told Alessandro Sonvico of Swiss fund management firm Pentagram "privileged information" about the forthcoming Bulgari deal, said the Consob watchdog.

He has been barred from holding office in a listed company for eight months, although LVMH said that after checking with their French and Italian lawyers, his position as managing director would not be affected.

Consob imposed the same penalties on Sonvico, although a part of his 350,000 euro fine will be paid by Pentagram. LVMH said that Belloni, who denies the charges, had immediately appealed the ruling.

The company said it was "calm" about what the final outcome of the case would be, and reaffirmed its confidence in a "managing director who has shown constant loyalty and honesty in his work since joining the group in 2001".

"Mr Belloni is disappointed by this decision, which he thinks is unjust," his lawyers said in a statement, adding that their client was approaching the case "with the calm of someone who has done nothing wrong". (AFP)

Photo: Bulgari, Facebook

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