December 1, 2019 / 3:47 PM / 9 days ago

ProSieben CEO sees no merit in merger with Mediaset - Sueddeutsche Zeitung

FILE PHOTO: German media company ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE Chief Executive Max Conze speaks to reporters during a briefing in Berlin, Germany, October 25, 2019. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 (PSMGn.DE) sees no merit in a potential merger with top shareholder Mediaset (MS.MI), its chief executive told a newspaper.

Controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Mediaset now holds 15.1% of ProSieben and could raise that stake to just below 20%, a source told Reuters last month.

“I’m very sceptical with regard to a structural merger of our companies,” ProSieben Chief Executive Max Conze told Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview.

“It wouldn’t be impossible but the modest synergies would not justify a merger, because implementation would be complex, lengthy and expensive.”

Conze said he would meet with Mediaset on Monday to find out more about its intentions as a shareholder, adding he would not be surprised if the Italian group raised its stake.

He said it would make more sense to first launch Joyn, ProSieben’s streaming joint venture with Discovery Inc (DISCA.O), in Italy, adding there was great interest across Europe.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Mark Potter

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