Who Are The Heirs Of Berlusconi's Fabulous Fortune?
A billionaire unlike many others, Silvio Berlusconi not only leaves behind a political legacy but also a colossal financial one. As one of the richest individuals on the peninsula, he amassed a vast fortune. Now, all eyes are on his heirs.
At the time of his death in June 2023, Berlusconi had a net worth of US$6.8 billion, making him the third-wealthiest person in Italy. According to the Daily Mail, his fortune is expected to be divided among his five children from two different marriages. Marina (56), Pier Silvio (53), Barbara (38), Eleonora (36), and Luigi (34) all own stakes in the company, which comprises several other businesses and is also the largest shareholder of MFE – Media For Europe.
Silvio Berlusconi and His Financial Empire
Born on September 29, 1936, Silvio Berlusconi was the son of a Milanese bank employee. He started his career as an entertainer on cruise ships, where he sang and entertained with funny stories.
Later, armed with a law degree, he ventured into business and embarked on a remarkable ascent that raised questions about the origins of his fortune, which he has always kept vague.
Between the late 1970s and 1980s, he built a media empire that included a publishing house and the famous cable TV network Mediaset, which became Italy's biggest competitor to state-owned television.
Today, the Berlusconi family's holding company, Fininvest, owns three television channels, newspapers, and numerous other assets. It carries a weight of around 3 billion euros. It includes Mediaset, the second-largest television group in Italy after the public broadcaster Rai, the press group Mondadori, and Banca Mediolanum, in which Fininvest holds a 30% stake, equating to a stock market value of nearly two billion euros.
Silvio Berlusconi also possessed private jets, yachts, and luxurious villas in various locations, including the French Riviera, Rome, Lampedusa, Arcore near Milan, and Sardinia's renowned Costa Smeralda. Villa Certosa, situated in Sardinia, is considered one of the world's most expensive villas, with 126 rooms.
In 1986, he saved the popular AC Milan soccer team from certain bankruptcy by purchasing it.
In 1994, "the Knight" Berlusconi entered Italian politics. Founding the right-wing party Forza Italia (Go Italy), he secured his first term as prime minister that same year.
Once involved in politics, Berlusconi consistently made headlines in Italy's tabloids, with reports on his more than 20 trials for abuse of power, financial fraud, and rumors about lewd parties at his private villa just outside Milan.
With five children from two marriages, Berlusconi was also a grandfather to several grandchildren. According to the Forbes list, which ranked him 352nd among the world's richest individuals, his five children are set to inherit a fortune of $6.8 billion.
In 1965, Berlusconi married Carla Elvira Dall'Oglio, and they had two children: Marina, also known as Maria Elvira (born in 1966), and Pier Silvio (born in 1969).
In 1980, Berlusconi entered a relationship with actress Veronica Lario, with whom he had three children: Barbara (born in 1984), Eleonora (born in 1986), and Luigi (born in 1988).
Barbara and Marina received the most attention. The former served on the board of Fininvest, her father's company, and was also the CEO of AC Milan. She was previously in a relationship with Brazilian footballer Alexandre Pato. In 2010, Marina was the only Italian to be listed among Forbes' World's 100 Most Powerful Women, ranking 48th.
According to the Daily Mail, the question of who will succeed Berlusconi has a clear answer: his eldest daughter, Marina. Marina and Pier Silvio, the eldest children, have been actively involved in managing their father's companies since shortly after he entered politics.