Mediaset wants to seize 3.5% of Vivendi
October 14, 2016
From Branislav Pekic in Rome
Italian broadcaster Mediaset is seeking an Italian court order for the seizure of 3.5 per cent of France’s Vivendi, in the latest chapter of the dispute between the two media groups.
This comes after both Mediaset and its holding company Fininvest in August filed law suits for damages against Vivendi over allegedly failing to respect an April agreement to take 100 per cent of pay-TV unit Mediaset Premium. In turn, Mediaset would receive a 3.5 per cent stake in Vivendi.
The first hearing on Mediaset’s application will take place on November 8th. Previously, a separate court hearing has been scheduled for March 21st 2017 on the two lawsuits for damages filed by Mediaset and Fininvest against Vivendi.
Separately, Bloomberg has reported that Vivendi is planning to try and settle the dispute with Mediaset, allowing a tie-up with Telecom Italia, in an attempt to challenge Sky Italia. Vivendi and Mediaset would each own 44.5 per cent of Mediaset Premium, according to sources.
According to the plan, Telecom Italia would become Mediaset Premium’s preferred partner and use its broadband network to promote the pay-TV brand, with the option to buy in later. For the time being, minority owner Telefonica would retain its 11 per cent stake in Premium.
Meanwhile, Mediaset is planning to increase the capital at its pay-TV unit by €140 million, according to Radiocor Plus. Mediaset Plus will also add the ID – Investigation Discovery channel from October 24th, after recently stopping distribution of Disney Channel and Disney Junior.