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Tod's, Fiat presidents in war of words

Business leaders clash over plans by RCS Mediagroup

11 February, 18:43
Tod's, Fiat presidents in war of words (ANSA) - Turin, February 11 - A debate between two senior Italian business leaders turned nasty on Tuesday after Diego Della Valle, president of luxury shoemaker Tod's, invited Fiat Chrysler President John Elkann to take an "internship" in his firm and learn "what it means to work for real".

And in response, Elkann suggested that Tod's was a "dwarf" among global luxury brands.

The dispute began after Della Valle sent a letter threatening directors of RCS Mediagroup with legal action over certain transactions including a capital increase plan approved by the board of the national publishing group.

Fiat is one of a group of major shareholders of RCS, the publisher of Italy's best-selling newspaper Corriere della Sera, with 20.5% of the capital. Della Valle has a minority interest and owns 9%.

In response to Della Valle's letter, Elkann suggested the Tod's president mind his own business, which he told reporters outside a business meeting is struggling in a global market.

"I cannot think why Della Valle has concerns about RCS, I think Tod's (should be) his worry. Compared to its competitors ...(it) is a dwarf," said Elkann.