A new chapter in a saga that has been going on for about two decades, that of the inheritance of one of Italy’s wealthiest and most prestigious families. The court of Turin has indeed granted the request to suspend the succession lawsuit filed by Margherita Agnelli against three of her (eight) children, namely John, Lapo, and Ginevra Elkann. For the latter, it is, in fact, a first victory. But it’s not over…
First victory for Elkann, but it’s not over…
The war for the inheritance – The beginning of this war dates back to 2003 when Gianni Agnelli passed away. In the following year, his daughter Margherita reached an agreement in which she renounced the inheritance in exchange for 1.2 billion euros. However, she later became aware of the existence of foreign accounts held by her father in offshore companies. Assets of which, she claimed, she was unaware. Therefore, in 2007, she filed a legal action to obtain a full account of all the assets of the ‘Avvocato’ (Gianni Agnelli), but her request was rejected by the judges.
Subsequently, Gianni’s widow, Marella Agnelli Caracciolo, named her grandchildren John, Lapo, and Ginevra as her sole heirs. Margherita now contests the validity of those wills. The Elkann siblings, on their part, have repeatedly reiterated that in 2004 “two fundamental agreements” were “negotiated and freely signed precisely by the same person who now, like in 2007, wants to erase them from the world of law.”
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the court of Turin, in granting the request of the three Elkann siblings, has just suspended the proceedings. Now Margherita’s hopes – supported by the five children she had with the French Count Serge de Palhen – rely entirely on the courts of Geneva and Thun. But it seems that there are not great hopes for her…
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Margherita Agnelli (mother of current Ferrari Chairman John Elkann) has already spent more than a decade contesting her father’s will, claiming that provisions were only made for the three children from her first marriage, John, Lapo and Ginevra Elkann. Margherita has another five children from her second marriage, to former Fiat manager Serge de Pahlen.
The power struggle, contesting the will of Patriarch Gianni Agnelli, forged in Switzerland instead of in Italy which is what Margherita is disputing, involves control of holding companies that oversee a vast corporate empire that includes Ferrari.
Exor, headquartered in Amsterdam, holds the reins of Ferrari and CNH Industrial NV, and holds the largest investment in Stellantis.
After her father’s demise in 2003, Margherita Agnelli disposed of her 37.5% share in Dicembre for approximately €105 million. However, with the revival of Fiat under the leadership of CEO Sergio Marchionne, she endeavored to invalidate the agreement.