Cairo scores surprise victory in battle for Italian publisher RCS

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian media tycoon Urbano Cairo has secured 49 percent of influential publisher RCS Mediagroup as his takeover bid on Friday unexpectedly leapt ahead of a rival offer by a group of core RCS shareholders.

Provisional data from Italy’s stock exchange showed the take-up of Cairo’s offer, which stood at just 22 percent of capital on Thursday, more than doubled on the last day in which investors could tender their shares.

The bid by the consortium of RCS investors and private equity firm Investindustrial reached 38 percent of capital.

The long-running battle over the publisher of Corriere della Sera, Italy’s top-selling mainstream newspaper, has pitted most of the country’s corporate establishment against Cairo, an outsider who made his fortune with magazines and now owns television channel La7.

Reporting by Valentina Za and Claudia Cristoferi