Giro d’Italia not up for sale

RCS Media Group opts to retain race organiser RCS Sport

RCS Media Group has announced it has no immediate plans to sell the Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport as part of its new 2016-2018 business plan aimed at reducing the companies massive debts and instead will work to develop further events and launch amateur and mass participation events.

In last few weeks there has been considerable speculation about the future of RCS Sport. Some Italian business media reported that three prospective buyers were being considered, including Infront Sport & Media owned by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin. However in the new RCS Media Group business plan published early on Monday morning, cycling and sport events are described as ‘high-potential areas’. RCS Sport is one of the few business areas that produces a profit at RCS Media Group thanks to the Giro d’Italia and the recent creation of the Dubai Tour and Abu Dhabi Tour.

RCS Sport also organises Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, Milan-Turin, Giro del Piemonte, Il Lombardia, the Milan marathon and other minor events.

New CEO Laura Cioli has worked on the new business plan in recent weeks and recently secured potential extra funding from shareholders as she fights off the banks keen to reduce the company’s debts. Cioli plans to make ‘significant cost reductions’ across the different media titles in Italy and Spain but has opted to retain RCS Sport, with possible plans for future partnerships in the mid-term.

The future of RCS Sport falls under the third of eight objectives:

Selectively invest in high-potential areas:

- Focus on sport events, especially cycling e running: full exploitation of the iconic formats (e.g. Giro d’Italia) along with international best practices; development of a broader system of competitive events; launch of new amateur and mass events. In the mid-term, assessment of opportunities for further strategic development, also through selected partnerships, whose impact is presently not contemplated in the Plan.

The press release also claimed that “RCS Group has the opportunity to build a solid future based on its undisputed leadership position in the markets where it operates thanks to excellent brands, on its ability to develop and promote iconic events and sport formats, and on its potentials for synergies and international expansion rising out of its multi-language and multi-country configuration.”

Further details of the business plan will be revealed during a media presentation in Milan later on Monday.

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