September 4, 2014 / 11:47 AM / 3 years ago

Telefonica has right to exit Mediaset Premium - sources

MILAN, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Spain’s Telefonica has the right to sell back its 11 percent stake in Mediaset’s pay TV unit Mediaset Premium if the Italian media group finds another partner for the business, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

Telefonica bought the stake in July for 100 million euros, valuing Mediaset Premium at 900 million euros and marking a further expansion into the pay-TV industry.

“Telefonica has an option to give back its 11 percent in Premium within six months from its entrance if another partner comes on board,” one of the sources said.

Mediaset and Telefonica declined to comment.

Mediaset Deputy Chairman Pier Silvio Berlusconi said in July the company was in talks with France’s Vivendi, Al Jazeera and others to cooperate in the pay-TV business.

Vivendi is expected to enter Italy soon via a stake in phone company Telecom Italia and is hunting for content deals as part of a fresh strategy championed by chairman Vincent Bollore.

Analysts have suggested that a partnership between Vivendi, which owns French pay-TV operator Canal Plus, and Mediaset Premium could make sense. (Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, writing by Danilo Masoni)

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