Berlusconi’s Fininvest Loses CIR Case, Must Pay Damages

Fininvest SpA, the holding company owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, must pay Compagnie Industriali Riunite SpA about 500 million euros ($668 million) in a case related to a takeover dating back to 1991, Italy’s top court ruled today.

The Rome-based Supreme Court rejected all but one of Fininvest’s challenges of an appeals court ruling, according to an e-mailed copy of the decision.

“This decision isn’t justice, it’s a slap at justice,” Marina Berlusconi, the daughter of the former premier and head of Fininvest, said in an e-mailed statement.

Fininvest, which controls Berlusconi’s broadcast company Mediaset SpA (MS), in October 2009 was ordered to pay damages to CIR for bribing a judge during a takeover battle for publisher Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SpA (MN) dating back to 1991.

An appeals court in July 2011 ruled in CIR’s favor and Fininvest challenged the decision in Italy’s top court.

Shares of CIR, which controls publisher Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso SpA, rose 6.9 percent in Milan today, the biggest one-day gain in 13 months.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dan Liefgreen in Milan at dliefgreen@bloomberg.net; Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at tebhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Foxwell at sfoxwell@bloomberg.net

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