Berlusconi’s final will divvies up 5 billion euros in wealth; eldest children control media empire

Berlusconi’s final will divvies up 5 billion euros in wealth; eldest children control media empire

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MILAN (AP) — Silvio Berlusconi left control of his media empire to his two eldest children, according to details of his will reported Thursday by Italian media, while bequeathing 100 million euros ($109 million) of his estimated 5 billion-euro ($5.4 billion) fortune each to his companion and his brother.

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The Fininvest holding company that controls the Mediaset television network, Mondadori publishing house and other assets confirmed in a statement that “no shareholder will exercise overall individual direct control of Fininvest SpA,” as Berlusconi himself had.

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The three-time former Italian premier and media mogul died June 12 at the age of 86 after being hospitalized for treatment of chronic leukemia. His will was read out in the presence of his five children and other witnesses on Tuesday.

With the shares inherited from their father, Marina and Pier Silvio Berlusconi control 53% of Fininvest.

Berlusconi’s fortune was estimated at 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion), including publicly traded Fininvest, which is valued at 2.8 billion euros (more than $3 billion), real estate holdings worth around 700 million euros ($760 million), stocks, artworks and cash, according to the news agency ANSA.

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Berlusconi also left 60% of his nonbusiness wealth to Marina and Pier Silvio, his two oldest children from his first marriage, while the youngest three children from a second marriage, Barbara, Eleonora and Luigi, split the remaining 40%.

The twice-divorced Berlusconi also left 100 million euros ($109 million) to his 33-year-old companion, Marta Fascia, and an equal sum to his brother Paolo. He also left 30 million euros ($32.6 million) to one of his oldest friends and a former senator from his party, Marcello Dell’Utri, who had been convicted of Mafia association. The court said he had acted as a mediator between Berlusconi and a top crime boss, in charges dating to a period before Berlusconi took office.

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According to a copy of the will published by Italian media outlets, Berlusconi decided in 2006 how his business holdings would be divided. He added the bequeathal to his brother in 2020, and those to Fascia and Dell’Ultri in January, when he was hospitalized for tests.

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