MILAN (Reuters) - Mediaset (MS.MI) is open in the future to being a minority shareholder in the pan-European media alliance it is putting together, the Italian broadcaster’s chief executive was quoted as saying on Friday.
“Looking ahead it cannot be taken for granted that Mediaset will always be majority shareholder,” Pier Silvio Berlusconi said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa.
In June Mediaset unveiled a corporate overhaul that includes putting the group and its separately-listed Spanish unit under a new Dutch holding company MediaforEurope (MFE) as part of a pan-European growth strategy.
Berlusconi said he was sure other European TV networks would come on board, adding however there were no formal negotiations with Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Media (PSMGn.DE) and French broadcaster Television Francais 1 SA (TF1) (TFFP.PA).
“Hang on, it’s a long process. We’re talking, but there are no negotiations,” he said.
Mediaset already owns 9.6% of ProSiebenSat.1.
Asked if Mediaset shareholder Vivendi (VIV.PA) could boycott the MFE project he said he believed in the end the French group would not take the responsibility of blocking the deal.
Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Valentina Za