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Vivendi-Mediaset deal off the rails

There remain “significant differences” as far as Vivendi is concerned over its proposed agreement with Mediaset. Vivendi, in a statement June 26th, said it still wanted to come to an agreement, but “under different terms”.

Mediaset’s comments are tougher, and suggesting the deal with Vivendi has derailed, “out of the blue”, when Vivendi a month ago decided not to buy the premium (pay-TV) asset after all but now proposes to buy a greater share of Mediaset. Vivendi seemingly wants only 20 per cent of Mediaset Premium, instead of the originally proposed 100 per cent.

Instead, Vivendi evidently wants a 15 per cent slice of Mediaset Group. Mediaset’s Board will consider this option on Thursday, July 28.

Mediaset says bluntly that Vivendi is not respecting the terms of the original agreement.

One analyst (at Exane-BNP/Parisbas) said this was an extraordinary situation: “never seen this in my career where a buyer of an asset changes mind before deal completion”. Analyst Charles Bedouelle added that “On the positive side, investors could rejoice to the idea that Vivendi doesn’t buy the loss making Mediaset premium.”

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