French Vivendi wants to meet Mediaset to discuss truce: sources


MILAN (Reuters) – French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA) asked to meet with Mediaset executives (MS.MI) to discuss a deal to end his long row with the Italian broadcaster, three sources knowledgeable on the matter said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a Vivendi sign at the main entrance to the headquarters of the telecommunications entertainment conglomerate in Paris, France, November 21, 2019. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes / File Photo

Mediaset – controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi – and its second shareholder Vivendi have been involved in a legal battle since Vivendi withdrew from a deal to buy Mediaset’s pay-TV business in 2016.

The row escalated last year when Mediaset approved a plan to merge its Italians and Spaniards (TL5.MC) companies belonging to a Dutch holding company, through which it wishes to build pan-European alliances.

But Vivendi’s opposition, which claims the holding’s governance structure would strengthen the Berlusconis’ hold over the group, led to the project being suspended by a Madrid court.

Last week, Mediaset invited Vivendi, which had said it was available to discuss the Italian television group’s European growth plans, to submit concrete proposals to boost activity abroad, as part of a settlement. wider.

In a subsequent letter to the members of the Mediaset board of directors, Vivendi requested a meeting with the group’s executives.

The letter does not, however, offer any plan for a possible agreement between the two groups, two sources said on Tuesday. One of the sources said Vivendi asked Mediaset to come up with a proposal.

Mediaset and Vivendi declined to comment.

Following the failure of the pay-TV operation four years ago, Vivendi took a 29% stake in Mediaset, a decision deemed hostile by the Italian group.

A court case has been pending since, and attempts to reach a broader settlement have so far proved unsuccessful.

Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Edited by Giulia Segreti and Jan Harvey

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