MILAN Telecom Italia's efforts to recruit investors to help it to create a national broadband champion with Open Fiber have stalled, sources close to the matter say, as it is proving hard to hammer out a deal structure.
MILAN Italy's Mediaset on Friday won shareholder approval for governance tweaks needed to smooth a pan-European expansion plan despite opposition from its second-biggest investor Vivendi, which is fighting the project in court.
By Elvira Pollina
MILAN, Jan 10 Italy's biggest commercial
broadcaster Mediaset has called a shareholder meeting on
Friday over governance tweaks needed to ease a pan-European
expansion plan which its second-largest investor Vivendi
is fighting in court.
Controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi, Mediaset last year approved a plan to
merge its businesses in Italy and Spain under a
Dutch-based company, called MediaForEurope (MFE).
The broadcaster wants to use the new entity to pursue
tie-ups with European peers to take on competition from
streaming apps such as Netflix and web giants like
But French media group Vivendi, led by billionaire Vincent
Bollore, opposes the plan saying the governance structure of the
new entity would strengthen Berlusconi's grip on the company.
In response to Vivendi's legal challenge, a Spanish court
has provisionally put the merger on hold, while a decision by a
Milan court over the French group's request to suspend the deal
is still pending.
To increase the chances the Milan judge will rule in its
favour, Mediaset called an extraordinary shareholder meeting for
Jan. 10 to approve changes to the bylaws of MFE suggested by the
Vivendi however said in a letter to Mediaset's board last
month that the proposed changes failed to address its concerns
and called for a broader overhaul.
Doubts over the future Mediaset's pan-European plan
increased after Mediaset and Vivendi failed to resolve their
multiple legal disputes, including the one over MFE, with an
out-of-the court agreement.
Vivendi and Mediaset have been at odds since the French
conglomerate withdrew from a deal to buy Mediaset's pay-TV unit
and then built up a 29% stake in the group, which the Italian
broadcaster considers hostile.
Two thirds of that stake is held in a trust following a
ruling by the Italian telecoms watchdog over Vivendi's excessive
presence in the country's media and telecoms sectors given its
24% stake in Telecom Italia
The Berlusconi family's holding company, Fininvest, holds
45.8% of Mediaset's voting rights, meaning it will almost
certainly get its way on Friday, despite Vivendi's opposition
if it bars the trust from voting as it has done in the past.
Mediaset's board will take a decision on whether to exclude
the trust ahead of the shareholder meeting.
The deadlock with Vivendi is weighing on Mediaset shares,
which fell 5.5% in 2019 against a 27% rise in Italy's mid-cap
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina. Editing by Jane Merriman)
MILAN, Jan 8 French media giant Vivendi
has asked an Italian court to suspend a ruling forcing it to
freeze two-thirds of its stake in Italian broadcaster Mediaset
, a document showed on Wednesday.
MILAN Italian infrastructure group Atlantia on Friday suffered its second debt downgrade in a month, slipping further into junk territory, as the government considers revoking the group's motorway concession following a deadly bridge collapse.
BRUSSELS/MILAN An Italian law that forced Vivendi to freeze two-thirds of its stake in Italian broadcaster Mediaset breaches European Union rules, the EU Advocate General said on Wednesday.
MILAN Milan's football clubs and the city municipality are in talks to try to resolve a dispute over plans for a new stadium to replace the nearly century-old San Siro arena.
MILAN Telecom Italia and Vodafone will kick off the sale of a stake in their Italian tower business in the coming days after picking advisers for the process, two sources said.
ROME Telecom Italia (TIM) and smaller broadband rival Open Fiber traded blows on Thursday on how they do business, complicating plans for a tie-up to create a single fiber network.