MILAN, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Vivendi’s acquisition of a 20 percent stake in Italian broadcaster Mediaset is not a hostile move and the final aim is to build a European company with global reach, the French media group’s CEO said in an interview in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“We have a long-term interest, we want to be an industrial partner,” Arnaud de Puyfontaine said.
Last week Vivendi said it had reached its initial goal of amassing a 20 percent stake in Mediaset, Italy’s biggest private broadcaster controlled by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
De Puyfontaine said if Vivendi had wanted to take control of Mediaset, it would have launched a takeover bid.
“We have the means to do so,” he said, adding the French company had spent around 800 million euros ($836 million) to build the 20 percent stake.
He declined to say whether Vivendi might launch a bid at a later date.
De Puyfontaine, who said he had met Italy’s industry minister to explain the group’s strategic vision, said he also met with Mediaset CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi.
$1 = 0.9574 euros Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by Jason Neely