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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Berlusconi Sells 20%

MILAN, Italy () -- Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said Thursday he had sold a 20 percent stake in his vast media holdings to an international group headed by Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal.

Berlusconi said in a statement a consortium of banks would take another 20 percent in his Mediaset holding later this year, with the media magnate eventually aiming to reduce his own stake in the company to 35 to 40 percent.

Since entering politics in 1994, Berlusconi has come under heavy criticism for perceived conflict of interest between his business and political ambitions and has for months promised to cut his majority stake in Mediaset.