Benettons’ Edizione Names Laghi to Replace Mion as Chief

Enrico Laghi, a former special administrator of Alitalia SpA, will replace Gianni Mion as chairman of the Benetton family’s Edizione investment company by Nov. 30.

“This is a clear technical choice, in favor of a professional with a strong institutional approach, who enjoys the full trust of all members of the family and of the board of directors,” Edizione said in a statement on Sunday.

Laghi, a professor of business administration at Rome’s La Sapienza university, will take responsibility for negotiating the sale of a majority stake in toll-road unit Autostrade per L’Italia SpA.

The move follows an investigation into road safety at Autostrade that led to the arrest of former executives. The highway unit is owned by the Benettons’ Atlantia SpA.

The Italian government is increasing pressure on Atlantia to finalize a deal to sell Autostrade following scrutiny of its safety measures. The toll-road operator could again face a costly legal battle over possibly having its concession revoked, government officials said last week, an option they had previously said was off the table.

Il Messaggero reported on Sunday that the Autostrade board has approved an industrial plan that meets government demands, including an annual increase in tolls amounting to less than 1.75%, making a deal on a sale more likely. The company has written to the government to say it accepts a contract on a new tariff system as proposed in September, according to a person familiar with the matter.

House Arrest

Giovanni Castellucci, who built Autostrade over two decades before resigning last year, is under house arrest along with two other former managers. Three current executives at the company are also under scrutiny.

Benettons’ Edizione Names Laghi to Replace Mion as Chief

Castellucci and the others have been charged with fraud and jeopardizing the safety of transportation, according to a police statement. Prosecutors argue the managers were aware of deficiencies in highway barriers, an issue Autostrade claims was resolved in 2019.

The investigation will demonstrate that the former executive did not commit any wrongdoing, attorneys for Castellucci said in a statement.

The Five Star Movement, the biggest party in Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s coalition, has campaigned for over two years to punish Atlantia for its role in a deadly bridge collapse in Genoa in 2018.

While Five Star has called for the Autostrade unit to be stripped of its licenses to run highways, coalition ally the Democratic Party has taken a more moderate tack, backing talks to reach a compromise.

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