Barely two days after suggesting that such an outcome was likely, and a day after it confirmed that it had crossed the 5 per cent and 10 per cent thresholds of Italian broadcaster Mediaset’s share capital, media group Vivendi revealed December 14 that it had crossed the 15 per cent threshold and reached the 20 per cent threshold.
In the wake of a failed strategic and industrial partnership with Mediaset. Vivendi said December 12 that it intended to continue to acquire Mediaset shares depending on market conditions, until possibly becoming Mediaset’s second largest industrial shareholder, which, to begin with, could represent between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the Mediaset share capital.
The partnership, with an international scope, included, on the one hand, various initiatives in the joint production and distribution of ambitious audiovisual content and, on the other hand, the creation of a global over-the-top (OTT) television delivery platform. As a first step, Vivendi was to acquire 3.5 per cent of Mediaset’s share capital and 100 per cent of the share capital of the Mediaset Premium pay-television company, in exchange for 3.5 per cent of Vivendi’s share capital.
The envisaged Mediaset Premium acquisition unfortunately led to a lawsuit and Vivendi’s proposals aimed at finding an amicable solution to the dispute were not agreed by Mediaset and its shareholder Fininvest.
As Vivendi believes that the strategic interest of the industrial partnership announced on April 8, 2016 supersedes the stakes of the lawsuit, Vivendi announced its intention to continue to acquire Mediaset shares, in line with the Group’s intention to develop its activities in Southern Europe and its strategic ambitions as a major international, European-based, media and content group.