Legacy of a Mogul: Unraveling Silvio Berlusconi's Empire

As the world continues to mourn the passing of Silvio Berlusconi, the former Prime Minister of Italy and billionaire tycoon, questions are emerging about the future of his substantial business empire.

by Faruk Imamovic
SHARE
Legacy of a Mogul: Unraveling Silvio Berlusconi's Empire

As the world continues to mourn the passing of Silvio Berlusconi, the former Prime Minister of Italy and billionaire tycoon, questions are emerging about the future of his substantial business empire. The charismatic yet controversial figure, who built an impressive business portfolio before launching a political career, leaves behind a seven-billion-euro wealth, as estimated by American business media outlet Bloomberg.

While the precise division of this wealth among his heirs remains uncertain, the influence of Berlusconi's business ventures on both Italian society and the wider European market is unquestionable.

Berlusconi's Business Beginnings

Long before he entered the political arena at 57, Berlusconi was making waves in the business world.

His foray into wealth began in the 1960s as an investor, laying the foundations for what would soon become a media empire. The 1970s marked a significant period of expansion for Berlusconi. He founded Telemilano, a cable television company, and purchased two additional cable television channels in Italy.

By 1978, these channels were absorbed into Fininvest, his newly-formed holding company. Through Fininvest, Berlusconi gained significant stakes in some of Europe's largest media companies and the renowned football club AC Milan.

By the end of 2021, Berlusconi held a controlling interest of 61.3 percent in the holding. After 31 years of ownership, AC Milan was sold by Fininvest in 2017 for a staggering 740 million euros, marking the end of an era for the "unforgettable Berlusconi," as the club heartfully noted.

Controversy and Success: A Tangled Web

Berlusconi's business and political careers often intersected, bringing with them a multitude of controversies. Over his two-decade-long political tenure, he faced a minimum of 17 trials, involving charges such as tax fraud and bribery.

Despite vehemently denying all allegations, many of his legal battles resulted in verdicts being overturned on appeal.

The Berlusconi Empire: Who Inherits the Throne?

Surviving Berlusconi are his five children from two marriages, all of whom hold stakes in Fininvest.

His eldest daughter, Marina, has served as the chair of the holding since 2005. It appears most likely that she will assume control of her father's sprawling business empire. Pier Silvio, another child of Berlusconi and currently the CEO of MediaForEurope, along with Berlusconi's three children from his second marriage, also have considerable shares in Fininvest.

Silvio Berlusconi's death at the age of 86 marks the end of an era for Italy and beyond. His larger-than-life presence in both business and politics leaves an indelible mark on the pages of history.

Italy
SHARE