Italian insurance giant Assicurazioni Generali has filed a complaint with the country’s securities regulator over what it said were “incorrect and defamatory statements” made to the press by former executive Luciano Cirinà and top investor Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone.
“The filing urges the regulator to urgently exercise its powers with regards to communications concerning regulated companies and the lawfulness of the process for the solicitation of proxies in relation to the vote at Generali’s upcoming annual general meeting on April 29, 2022,” the company said in statement. “The regulations in force require that the solicitation of proxies follows the principles of diligence, accuracy, and transparency.”
Generali, Europe’s third-largest insurer, is in the midst of a shareholder battle over control of the company, according to a Reuters report.
Cirinà was the head of the company’s Austria and Central and Eastern European (CEE) operations until it became clear that investors seeking control of the insurance giant led by Caltagirone and Leonardo Del Vecchio wanted him to replace current chief executive Philippe Donnet. Cirinà was fired at the end of March for siding with the tycoons.
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Caltagirone is the head of construction conglomerate Caltagirone S.p.A and the insurer’s second-biggest investor, owning more than 9% of the company. Del Vecchio, meanwhile, is the billionaire founder of eyewear giant Luxottica.
In the statement, Generali also indicated that it would pursue criminal and civil charges against anyone who breaks communications rules covering regulated companies.
“Due to the gravity of the violations of the obligation to communicate accurate information to shareholders, investors and the market, which threatens to alter market dynamics and the correct determination of the AGM vote, the board of directors has also resolved to launch criminal and civil legal proceedings, for the relevant judicial authorities to prosecute anybody demonstrating the aforementioned behaviours,” the company said.