Media, Football and Cars: the Agnelli’s Empire might Crumble following Family Feud

Lorenzo Bagnato

14 Febbraio 2023 - 17:03

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The Agnelli are one of the most powerful families in the world. Greed and power, however, might eventually destroy their entire fortune.

Media, Football and Cars: the Agnelli's Empire might Crumble following Family Feud

One of the most powerful families in recent European history, whose control extends to dozens of companies over four continents. The Agnellis, a name that translates from Italian to “lambs”, have proven to be wolves instead.

Their net worth is difficult, if not impossible, to calculate. What’s certain is that the Agnelli family is one of the most powerful households in the world. And yet, they’re fortune might soon crumble following a bloody and lengthy family feud over inheritance.

To understand the extent of the Agnelli’s Empire, one must look no further than two holding companies: Exor and Stellantis.

Exor holds the ownership of the car manufacturers Ferrari and Iveco, as well as the British news outlet The Economist and the Italian media empire GEDI Group. GEDI, on its part, controls the most important Italian newspapers and magazines. Finally, Exor also controls the Italian football team Juventus, one of the richest on the whole European continent.

Stellantis, on the other hand, extends the Agnellis’ control over the global car industry. Under the Stellantis’ umbrella we find the Americans Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep; the Italian FIAT and Alfa Romeo and the French Peugeot and Citroen. According to Fortune, Stellantis is the 29th biggest holding company in the world.

Given the extent of this Empire, it’s difficult to put a price tag on it. Some estimates reach as high as $150 billion in net worth for the whole family, but it is likely an overestimation.

One way to understand it, however, is to look at the stakes of the family’s trial.

The war of the Agnellis

Being one of the richest families in the world is sometimes not enough. Money generates the need for more money, and that’s why the Agnelli family has been entangled in a 20 years-old trial over an inheritance.

When Marella Caracciolo, widow of Giovanni Agnelli, died, she appointed her three grandchildren as direct heirs. John, Ginevra and Lapo, Marella’s grandchildren, would receive a total fortune of €4.6 billion, as well as the largest share of the family’s companies.

Margherita Agnelli, Marella’s daughter, has however contested this inheritance. Indeed, according to Italian succession law it is forbidden to “skip” the rightful heir; therefore Marella was not allowed to leave everything to her grandchildren.

According to the luckiest grandchildren in the world, however, Marella was actually operating under Swiss jurisdiction (where she lived). Moreover, a written agreement had been signed between Marella and her daughter Margherita whereby she renounced her rights as heir for €1.2 billion.

The tribunal will have to decide in 2023 under which jurisdiction to operate: the Italian or the Swiss one. If the tribunal goes for the former option, no written agreement can stand between someone and its rights as heirs. Margherita would therefore be allowed the entire inheritance, possibly destroying the Agnelli’s family forever.


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