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Generali is giving again as much as 6.1 billion euros to buyers as a part of the brand new plan

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Generali insurance company can be seen on the company headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, November 29, 2019. Picture from November 29, 2019. REUTERS / Tamas Kaszas / File Photo

Milan (Reuters) – Italy's top insurer Generali (MI 🙂 on Wednesday pledged to return up to 6.1 billion euros ($ 7 billion) in dividends and buybacks to shareholders as Chief Executive Philippe Donnet launched a new strategy presented by 2024.

Donnet, whose longevity at the top has been questioned due to a dispute between Generali's three largest shareholders, has also provided up to € 3 billion in mergers and acquisitions in the insurance and asset management sectors.

Generali is aiming for average earnings per share growth of 6 to 8% per year under the new plan, it said in a statement.

Donnet's strategy won 11 votes out of 13 on Generali's board of directors, two sources close to the matter said late Tuesday.

Generali's second largest shareholder, Italian magnate Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone, voted against, while a representative from Leonardo Del Vecchio, another top investor, did not attend the meeting, the sources said.

Caltagirone and Del Vecchio, the billionaire founders of eyewear giant Luxottica, challenged Donnet's leadership and reappointment in April, which is instead backed by a majority of the board members and Generali's largest investor Mediobanca (OTC :). (1 $ = 0.8875 euros)

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