Exclusive Italian tribunal rules in favor of Blackstone in RCS construction dispute By Reuters




© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The ticker and trading information for Blackstone Group is displayed at the post where it is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) floor on April 4, 2016. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid / File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) – A Milan arbitral tribunal has ruled in favor of Blackstone Group (NYSE 🙂 Inc in a disputed sale of RCS headquarters, dismissing all claims advanced by the Italian publisher, a court document seen by Reuters has shown , confirming the sources had said earlier on Friday.

RCS Mediagroup, which publishes the influential daily Corriere della Sera, launched arbitration proceedings at the end of 2018 to cancel the 2013 sale of its historic headquarters in central Milan to Blackstone, claiming that the US investment firm had paid a price too low at a time when RCS was facing financial difficulties.

Blackstone, who paid 120 million euros ($ 145 million) for the offices, had in turn accused RCS of falsely claiming that it still owns the building and of improperly blocking its sale to Allianz German (DE :).

The sale of the property “was nothing more than a commercial negotiation” in which the buyer “legitimately” attempted to obtain the “most favorable terms of sale” without evidence of “any undue pressure on the property. other party “, according to the arbitration award.

RCS was not immediately available for comment.

“The panel of judges fully recognized the validity of the contract and the fairness of Blackstone’s behavior throughout the sale process,” said a source close to the US fund.

Friday’s final court ruling follows a partial award released in May last year, declaring the sale valid.

The decision called for two expert inquiries into RCS’s financial situation in 2013 and the market value of the property at the time, to assess whether and to what extent there had been damage to RCS.

The US investment firm has filed two lawsuits in New York which have been stayed pending the outcome of the arbitration in Italy.

He is claiming up to $ 600 million in damages from RCS and its chairman and main shareholder Urbano Cairo, which took control of the company in 2016, a source close to the fund said at the time.

RCS’s financial report, published on the company’s website, shows that it has not made any provisions for risks for the dispute.

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