Monday, 17 March 2014

Italian companies and their difficulty with the truth

Interesting to see Pirelli and Rosneft announce this morning the Russian gas giant has acquired a significant stake in the tyre group's holding company.

Back in January I came across a story about Rosneft and Goldman Sachs's private equity unit teaming up to back a management buy-out of Pirelli.

I checked the story out with Rosneft, Goldman Sachs (neither of whom commented) and Pirelli's spokesperson, who vehemently denied to the tale.

Indeed, at the time the Pirelli spokesperson said: "With regard to your enquiry about a possible buy-out of Pirelli by Goldman Sachs, Rosneft and Pirelli management, Pirelli wishes to make it absolutely clear that this is completely without foundation and untrue."

As a result, my story was never published.

Luckily, hacks over at FT Alphaville had the gumption to publish a piece along similar lines to what I had originally heard. Here is a link to the FT Alphaville article:

Pirelli was quick to reply with a vehement on the record denial of the FT Alphaville story. However, I bet FT Alphaville is pleased with its decision to run the story now.

Yes, what has emerged today is not quite the same deal that was originally reported but it's not far of. So, I suspect the transaction slightly changed structure from when FT Alphaville published its original story.

Another hat tip to FT Alphaville.

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