Fashion designer Giorgio Armani plans to transfer part of his holding company to his foundation as a way to prevent the company from being bought or broken up, reports.
The foundation — which the 83-year-old Armani established last year, saying he planned to lead it for the rest of his life — currently holds 0.1 percent of Giorgio Armani Ltd. In an interview, Armani, whose fortune is estimated to be nearly $6 billion, told Corriere della Sera that the foundation will take a larger stake in the company, while the remaining shares will be held by his heirs, who will be able to sell them only to the foundation. The foundation has two broad aims — to reinvest capital in support of nonprofit initiatives and to ensure a proper balance of power within the holding company.
"What we've put together is a mechanism which will motivate my successors to live in harmony and prevent the group from being bought out by third parties or broken up," said Armani. "I will be in charge of the foundation for as long as I live, and after me my place will be taken by three people I will nominate." Armani's heirs will continue to sit on the holding company's board, along with a representative of the executive team and two outside members, with the foundation having the tie-breaking vote on the even-numbered board.
As for the types of charitable causes he envisions the foundation supporting, Armani said, "We don't have a specific project at the moment, but we do get dozens of requests every single day....As we have done in the past, we intend to keep taking care of the needs of disadvantaged children and to look after the elderly; we are interested in urban planning and in sporting activities as an educational tool to improve young people's lives. We are interested in anything that can accrue [to] the value of human beings."
(Photo credit: Jan Schroeder)