Elkann denies Italy’s RCS is in tie-up talks with News Corp

City A.M. Reporter
ITALIAN publisher RCS Mediagroup’s main shareholder John Elkann yesterday dismissed press reports of a link-up between the loss-making group and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, where he sits on the board.

When asked to comment on a possible News Corp investment in the Italian group, Fiat chairman Elkann said no talks were taking place between the companies. “There are no alliances in the works,” he said.

Elkann has emerged as an important player in Italian publishing after Fiat, which already controls Turin newspaper La Stampa, said on Friday it would double its stake in RCS to 20.1 per cent after a capital increase needed to keep the publisher in business ends this week.

Elkann was nominated last month to the board of News Corp. He also owns five per cent of The Economist, through holding company Exor.

“Our goal is to give the company (RCS) the stability it needs to continue being the important publisher it always has been," Elkann said on the sidelines of a business conference in Milan.

“We have fellow investors who share our same views and a cohesive shareholder group,” he said