Cecchi Gori: Ops not affected by bankruptcy

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Italy's Cecchi Gori Group said Wednesday that its operations will continue normally, just a day after the holding company controlling the media group was declared bankrupt.

The company issued a statement saying that while the financial problems with holding company Finmavi SpA were real, they had no connection with day-to-day operations.

"Following the press reports regarding Finmavi, we feel it necessary to clarify that our company Cecchi Gori Editoria Elettronica is not at all involved," the statement said. "We also want to stress that Cecchi Gori Home Video has been and continues to be involved in multibrand distribution."

The two Cecchi Gori subsidiaries named in the release control most of the aspects of the group's operations that are actually seen by the public. Finmavi, on the other hand, is a holding company that is the group's major shareholder.

But while the company insisted that the troubles at Finmavi did not necessarily mean problems for the rest of the group, financial sector analysts said that could not remain the case for long.

"I have no inside knowledge about the operations at Cecchi Gori, but it is difficult to believe that the bankruptcy of a company's major shareholder would not effect the company in many ways," said Javier Noriega, chief economist with investment bankers Hildebrandt and Ferrar.

Cecchi Gori officials declined to elaborate.

On Tuesday, Cecchi Gori Group chairman Vittorio Cecchi Gori vowed to fight the bankruptcy decision and renewed his promise to help rebuild the fortunes of the company (HR 10/25).

For years, the Cecchi Gori Group was one of the dominant players in the Italian media and entertainment industry, with stakes in the television, film production and distribution, and exhibition sectors.
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