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Campari denies investigation into tax affairs

Milan prosecutors have opened an investigation into the tax affairs of Lagfin, the Luxembourg-registered holding company that controls Davide Campari Milano.

Yesterday, Campari rejected a Reuters report that it was under investigation saying: “Campari Group clarifies that neither Davide Campari Milano N.V. nor any of its subsidiaries are
under investigation by the authorities.

“Therefore, no impact is expected for Davide Campari Milano N.V. nor for any of its subsidiaries.”

Commentators were quick to note that Campari’s denial of the rumours did not cover Lagfin, the investment vehicle of the billionaire Garavoglia family, who control two thirds of the voting shares in Campari.

No formal notice

Today, however, Lagfin declared its “complete serenity” regarding any possible allegation and said that no formal notice of assessment had been received and that it had always fulfilled its tax obligations with the “utmost scruple.”

The rumours swirling around Milan suggested that prosecutors launched a probe after checks by tax police uncovered around €1 billion euros of unpaid dues owed by Lagfin from 2018-2020.

The rumours suggest that police found €5 billion of undeclared revenues on which the company failed to pay an “exit tax” levied on companies that transfer their fiscal headquarters
abroad from Italy.


In 2008 Davide Campari Milano completed the transfer of its legal office to Amsterdam and became subject to Dutch company law while retaining its head office and management
function in Milan.

Moving its legal home to the Netherlands allowed the company to issue a class of Special Voting Shares that effectively gave the controlling Garavoglias, through Lagfin, the ability to veto any future hostile takeover bid for Campari.

The decision to move to Amsterdam cost the Garavoglias about €250 million to buy out other shareholders and push the switch through.

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