• Vivendi accused of “unlawful” action against Mediaset 
  • Formal complaint made to Italian regulator Consbo 
  • Mediaset shares fell 2.7% on Wednesday

mediaset europe headquarters credit FREEDOM shutterstock

Tensions rising: Mediaset files a complaint against Vivendi  

Source: Mediaset

Broadcaster Mediaset has filed a complaint to Italian watchdog, accusing shareholder Vivendi of leaking information undermining its corporate restructuring plans.

The complaint, which was lodged yesterday to Italian regulator Consbo was described as “unlawful” and claimed to directly damage the Mediaset brand including Mediaset España and its shareholders.

Mediaset have formally requested Vivendi “to take an unequivocal and public position regarding its real intentions.”

In a statement to the press, Mediaset highlighted the “news” previously published by Bloomberg: “Mediaset SpA shareholder Vivendi SA plans to vote against the Italian TV company’s proposal to merge with its Spanish affiliate, according to people familiar with the matter, in a potential setback for the broadcaster’s ambition to create a European alliance.”

According to Mediaset this story was picked up by website Dagospia that stated: “Vivendi has launched a counterattack against Mediaset and will try in every way to block the merger between Mediaset Italia and Mediaset España and the move of the corporate headquarters to the Netherlands, with legal action, at the Shareholders’ Meeting, and by convincing funds to exercise their right to withdraw – claiming that the operation is penalising for all of the company’s shareholders apart from Fininvest”.

Vivendi has denied commenting on the complaint. 

The complaint was also sent to Agcom in order to ensure the monitoring of Vivendi’s behaviour by the authority, following the confirmed violation of Art. 43 of TUSMAR, the Italian Broadcasting Act.

Mediaset shares fell 2.7% on Wednesday, to 2.87 euros, after reports were published on Vivendi’s intentions to block the deal.

On Thursday, Mediaset shares were up 0.9% to 2.96 euros.

Vivendi has the power to “derail” Mediaset’s corporate restructuring plans, according to a report by Reuters, if Vivendi withdrew its 29% stake in Mediaset, it would force the Italian firm to spend more than the 180 million euros it has set aside for shareholders who want to liquidate their holdings.

IBC365 reported earlier this week that Vivendi looked set to vote against a Mediaset proposal to create a Dutch holding company which would bring together its European assets, according to reports, Vivendi will vote against the Italian TV company’s plan at an investor meeting set to take place on 4 September.

Mediaset proposed the restructure in June. Mediaset said MFE has been developed with the aim of creating value and development as the “home of a great European broadcaster.”

However, the proposal has been met with further opposition, according to a report from Reuters, which claims ISS has advised Mediaset shareholders to vote it down.