FACTBOX-The Benettons: Italian magnates who went from sweaters to roads

MILAN, July 15 (Reuters) – The Benetton family started building its fortune in the 1960s with a small Italian knitwear factory and ended up at the head of an empire that controls infrastructure, shops and shares in listed companies.

Revenue of Edizione, the family’s holding company, rose to almost 18 billion euros last year with the groups it controls employing around 100,000 people.

* 1955 – Luciano, the eldest of the four Benetton siblings, begins to sell the colourful sweaters his sister Giuliana is creating at home in Treviso, in the northeast of Italy.

* 1965 – Luciano, Giuliana and their younger brothers Gilberto and Carlo found the eponymous clothing group with its first factory in the small town of Ponzano Veneto.

* 1978 – The apparel group launches a mayor expansion campaign abroad and exports reach 60% of production.

* 1981 – The Edizione holding company is created. It is controlled by the four founders and their families, through four more holding companies.

* 1982 – Benetton Group hires photographer Oliviero Toscani, whose distinctive advertising campaigns makes the United Colors of Benetton brand globally known.

* 1986 – Clothing group Benetton is listed on the Milan stock exchange.

* 1995 – Edizione buys a stake in Italian caterer Autogrill in one of the first Italian privatisations, as the group starts to diversify its business.

* 2000 – State-owned toll-road operator Autostrade per l’Italia is privatised and Edizione and other investors buy a 30% stake.

* 2003 – Edizione makes a tender offer for Autostrade shares, increasing its stake to around 84% of the company, which later changes its name to Atlantia.

* 2005 – Edizione expands in the airport business, which years later will merge with Atlantia.

* 2012 – Edizione delists Benetton group to relaunch the clothing unit.

* 2018 (March) – Atlantia buys a 15.5% stake in the Channel tunnel operator Getlink.

* 2018 (July) – Edizione buys a stake in the Spanish telecoms masts group Cellnex.

* 2018 (July) – Carlo Benetton, the youngest of the four siblings, dies.

* 2018 (August) – A bridge in Italy, operated by an Atlantia subsidiary, collapses, killing 43 people. Italy’s government pledges to revoke concessions held by Atlantia’s subsidiary to operate toll highways.

* 2018 (October) – Gilberto Benetton, who masterminded the family empire’s diversification, dies at the age of 77.

* 2018 (October) – Atlantia completes the acquisition of Spanish toll-road operator Abertis.

* 2020 (July) – Benetton-led Atlantia prepares to gradually exit from Autostrade, making room for state lender CDP, to settle a dispute over its highway concession. (Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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