(Reuters) – Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone, the second-largest shareholder in Assicurazioni Generali, has left the board, the Italian insurance company said on Friday, opening a new chapter in a long line of shareholders.
Mr Caltagirone has a 9.95% stake in Generali, having expanded its holdings in recent years as tensions have risen between the construction and newspaper magnate on the one hand and the insurance company’s board and its single largest investor, Mediobanca, on the other.
The share in Generali fell by more than 2% after the news, which underperformed a flat Italian blue-chip index on investors’ concerns that Mr. Caltagirone could reduce its share.
But a source close to the matter told Reuters that the holding remained strategic and Caltagirone had no plans to sell it.
Mr. Earlier this year, Caltagirone questioned a decision by Generali̵7;s board to secure a third term for CEO Philippe Donnet, but his bid to appoint his own CEO candidate was defeated in a shareholder vote last month.
Mr Caltagirone secured three board seats for his list of nominees at the Annual General Meeting on April 29 and had taken up one of these.
Generali said it would convene a board meeting in the coming days to decide on Caltagirone’s replacement, adding that the reasons behind his decision were not known.
A person with knowledge of the matter said that Caltagirone had informed Generali of his decision in a letter on Friday.
Mr Caltagirone resigned from the former Generali’s board in January before proposing a rival to Mr Donnet for the top job.