Berlusconi's eldest heirs strike pact for joint control of business empire

FILE PHOTO: State funeral of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the Duomo Cathedral, in Milan

MILAN (Reuters) - The two eldest heirs of late media mogul Silvio Berlusconi have agreed an open-ended pact which binds them to vote together at the family holding company's shareholder meetings, regulatory filings showed on Friday.

In his will, Berlusconi, who died aged 86 in June, handed Marina and Pier Silvio, the offspring from his first marriage, joint control of his media and financial empire held by family holding company Fininvest.

Under their pact, Marina and Pier Silvio, each owning a 26% indirect stake in Fininvest, agreed to consult at least five days before any Fininvest shareholder meeting to agree a joint position, the documents showed.

The agreement secures a dominant influence of the eldest heirs over the family holding company, the regulatory filings said.

Fininvest controls publisher Mondadori, broadcaster MFE-MediaForEurope, as well as a 30% stake in Italian asset manager Mediolanum, all listed on the Milan stock exchange.

Under their arrangement, the two siblings will have a further five days to consult if they are unable to reach common ground. If no agreement can be found, the pact is dissolved and each would be then free to exercise their voting rights as they wish.

Berlusconi's will has been unconditionally accepted by all his five heirs, including his younger children Barbara, Eleonora and Luigi, who hold a combined 48% stake.

All of the heirs agreed a lock-up period of five years, during which time they have pledged not to alter the stakes they hold in Fininvest, the filings showed.

Under Fininvest's new bylaws, if a takeover approach for Fininvest materialises, and a group of heirs holding a combined majority stake agree to sell, they have the right to force other heirs to sell their holdings under the same terms, according to the documents.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by David Holmes)