Italy's Agnelli family is emerging as the biggest winner from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group, the latest vindication for the 43-year-old scion, John Elkann, who has overseen the dynasty's revival in the past 15 years.
The clan's stake in FCA shareholder Exor has risen in value by about 800 million euros ($900 million) since deal talks were revealed on Tuesday, according to calculations by Bloomberg. The Agnellis own a controlling position in holding company Exor, Fiat’s largest shareholder.
The Agnellis are worth more than $10 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making them one of Europe’s wealthiest dynasties. Through Exor they have investments including Ferrari, the Economist magazine, Italian soccer club Juventus and Fiat, which has anchored the family's wealth since it was founded in 1899.
The fortune is spread across dozens of family members who own their stakes through holding company Giovanni Agnelli BV, which controls 53 percent of Exor.
Elkan, the current FCA chairman, is a grandson of Gianni Agnelli, a jet-setter who was known to Italians as "L'Avvocato," or the attorney. Gianni, who died in 2003, took over Fiat from his grandfather after World War 2, helping rebuild the Italian manufacturer and shape Italy's postwar years.
Elkann has recast Exor's portfolio since becoming head of the family in 2004, buying Bermuda-based reinsurer PartnerRe in 2015, its biggest single acquisition in more than a century. Fiat itself was transformed under the tenure of CEO Sergio Marchionne, who died in 2018.
Elkann will be chairman of the merged company, and Exor will be its largest shareholder with about a 14 percent stake.