Mediaset seeks damages from Vivendi
August 22, 2016
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italian broadcaster Mediaset has initiated legal action before a Milan Court to enforce a contract signed in April with French media group Vivendi.
Mediaset is requesting €50 million in damages for each month of delay in the implementation of the agreement as of July 25th, the date when Vivendi allegedly backtracked from the deal. However, the broadcaster points out that the claim statement does not cover the overall damages that would result from the termination of the contract, estimated at no less than €1.5 billion.
In July 2016, Vivendi said Mediaset’s business plan for its pay-TV unit Mediaset Premium was “based on unrealistic assumptions”, adding that due diligence by Deloitte auditors deemed the business plan to be “unachievable”. Vivendi added it was open to discussing another agreement with Mediaset, which would see it taking only 20 per cent of Mediaset Premium and up to 15 per cent of the parent company in three years.
According to the April deal, Vivendi was supposed to take 100 per cent of Mediaset Premium and the two partners would also swap 3.5 per cent stakes in each other.
Meanwhile, Telecom Italia has denied local press reports it would take a minority stake in Mediaset Premium as part of a new agreement between Mediaset and Vivendi, which would see each getting 30 to 33 per cent of the pay-TV broadcaster.