January 20, 2020 / 2:26 PM / a month ago

ProSieben says 'super relaxed' on Mediaset stake

FILE PHOTO: The Mediaset tower is seen in Cologno Monzese neighbourhood Milan, Italy, in this April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

MUNICH (Reuters) - German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media (PSMGn.DE) is “super relaxed” about having Italy’s Mediaset (MS.MI) as a minority shareholder and the two are holding constructive talks on closer cooperation, a senior executive told Reuters.

Mediaset, founded by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, has built up a 15.1% stake in ProSieben and has called on the Munich-based broadcaster to support its push for European industry consolidation.

ProSieben is not keen on a full-scale merger but, Deputy CEO Conrad Albert told Reuters, likes Mediaset “as a strategic anchor, with a European base, supporting our strategy”.

ProSieben would prefer to team up in ventures such as streaming - where its new Joyn platform now has 7 million users in Germany. A working group is discussing the possibility that Mediaset would adopt Joyn.

“We’re super relaxed - there’s no reason for us to be worried,” Albert told Reuters on the sidelines of the DLD technology conference in Munich. “We are playing an open and friendly game.”

CEO Max Conze had to skip the conference after breaking his leg skiing over the year-end holidays. Conze, who appeared on crutches at a New Year reception, has returned to hospital for further treatment, a spokesperson said.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Michelle Martin

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