RCS MediaGroup sees cash call completed by end-July


MILAN, April 29 (Reuters) - Italy's RCS MediaGroup will complete a planned rights issue of up to 500 million euros ($650 million) by the end of July, it said on Monday, as more banks stepped forward to guarantee the badly-needed fundraising.

This is the first time the publisher of Italy's influential newspaper Corriere della Sera and Spain's El Mundo has given detailed timing for the recapitalisation, which it needs to keep its business running.

Shareholders will vote on the measure on May 30.

The rights issue has been complicated by the fact that not all of its shareholders are willing to pour fresh money into a business which needs restructuring to counter a prolonged slump in the advertising market.

In a statement, the loss-making Italian company said seven banks were ready to underwrite up to 182.5 million euros of the capital increase, subject to conditions that include a binding commitment by core shareholders to take up 200 million euros.

A few weeks ago only five banks had expressed interest in joining an underwriting consortium. Greater support from banks raises the chances RCS will be able to raise the money it needs for a turnaround masterminded by CEO Pietro Scott Jovane.

RCS said the capital hike due by the end of July included up to 100 million euros of newly-issued saving shares, which have no voting rights but receive higher dividends. These were not envisaged in its previous plan.

RCS is 58-percent owned by a shareholder syndicate which comprises top names of Italy's financial and industrial world from car maker Fiat to investment house Mediobanca .

Investors Diego Della Valle, who controls shoe maker Tod's , and the Benetton family told RCS they would vote against the recapitalisation. Neither are part of the shareholder syndicate.

RCS also said its board wants to raise extra resources of up to 200 million euros by the end of 2015 for a total cash call of no more than 600 million euros - RCS's current market value.

($1 = 0.7676 euros) (Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Mark Potter)



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