ROME: Renato Soru, the founder of broadband giant Tiscali and a leading member of Italy's Democratic party, has purchased L'Unita, a left-leaning paper that was once the main voice of the now disbanded Italian Communist Party.

Estimates value L'Unita – founded in 1924 by famed Marxist Antonio Gramsci – at around €20 million ($31.5m; £15.9m), though the exact details of how much Soru paid for the title have not been released.

In the mid-1970s, L'Unita sold around 250,000 copies, but current circulation is thought to be closer to 50,000. The title's staff are hoping that Soru will be propel the publication into the digital age.

The Democratic party was formed from a union of former Communist Party members with Italy's Christian Democrats, and Soru has previously served as elected governor of Sardinia.

Walter Veltroni, the leader of the Democratic party, himself a former editor of L'Unita, said Soru's plans "were up to coping with the challenges of politics and the market".

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff