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Mediaset: ‘Vivendi subjective and biased’ on deal

The battle over the April deal between the European media groups continues as Mediaset rejects Vivendi’s position on the aborted agreement between the pair in the strongest terms.

The Italian group said Vivendi’s account of the events leading up to, and following on from its decision not to go ahead with contained “information without foundation” and that it needed to lay out the facts. Vivendi, meanwhile alleged that Mediaset had “proceeded to launch media attacks detrimental to Vivendi’s interest and image” while the two parties were trying “to renegotiate the terms of the agreement” in June.

Vivendi said that the April agreement had been based on “financial assumptions” on the part of Mediaset that Vivendi has subsequently subjected to due diligence by Deloitte after it raised a question about them. He said this “due diligence review”, which found that the figures provided before the agreement was signed were not realistic, had been “agreed contractually”.

Mediaset, though, asserted that the deal was based on information that was true and assumptions that were realistic, based on data that had been transparent and fully shared with Vivendi. It said that the contract was clear and did not include any clause that would allow Vivendi to unilaterally change the terms and conditions following subsequent due diligence. It denied that the pair were still involved in discussions when Vivendi pulled out and asserted that “everything had been discussed”. It said that the report provided by Deloitte was “subjective and biased”.

Mediaset also alleged that Vivendi’s dealing with the EC had been initiated without sharing any information with it, “in clear violation of the provisions of the contract”.

The latest spat follows Mediaset and parent Fininvnest filing separate legal actions against Vivendi in Milan.

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