Mediaset seeks ‘off shore’ holding company for Pro7?

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Italian newspaper Il Messagero has reported that Italian media conglomerate Mediaset is investigating a ‘superholding’ company based in the Netherlands or Belgium, where it will house Mediaset assets and stakes in other groups like ProSiebenSat1.

Deutsche Bank, in a note for clients, say “the ‘deal’ was reported as a merger of both broadcasting groups. This has been denied by Mediaset and Milano Finanza reports that Mediaset has “no plans to raise its 9.6 per cent stake in ProSieben ‘for the time being’, but could look to gain Board representation at the ProSiebenSat1 AGM on June 12.”

Deutsche Bank said: “We argued last week that we believed a merger was the Mediaset objective from the 9.6 per cent stake acquisition and as such, it would need to buy more, and seek to change the Pro7’s CEO.… But, Mediaset lacks the firepower to go hostile and is more likely to play the long game, resulting in an uneasy cohabitation. So, downside risk is reduced, but Pro7 is not a BUY on takeout case.”

“While we are sceptical on pan-European Free-To-Air TV Merger & Acquisition and see only limited synergies in a business which is predominantly based on national advertising, we can see how creating a new holding company with the intention to create a common buying platform could make sense in order to attract new advertising budgets from other advertising channels. The holding company news has not been confirmed by the companies,” advises another analyst at Exane/BNPP.


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