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Mediaset transmission unit in €1.22bn bid for RaiWay

raiwayMediaset-owned digital-terrestrial tower business EI Towers is making a €1.22 billion bid to take control of the rival transmission business owned by public broadcaster Rai. 

EI Towers, in which private equity company BlackRock holds a minority stake, is offering €4.50 a share for RaiWay, including €3.13 in cash and 0.03 new EI Towers shares for each RaiWay share. The price represents a premium of 22% on the price of RaiWay shares as of February 23. RaiWay floated its stock in November last year.

EI Towers said the acquisition would create a single major player in the market, removing inefficiencies associated with the duplication of infrastructure. The company said it would continue to ensure non-discriminatory access to all TV players.

EI Towers’ bid for RaiWay comes shortly after Fininvest, the investment vehicle of the family of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, reduced its holding in Mediaset to about 30% by selling a significant tranche of shares.

“The Board of Directors of Mediaset has reviewed and approved the terms and conditions of the transaction announced today by EI Towers to create an aggregated national telecast infrastructure,” Mediaset said in a statement.

“Mediaset therefore will vote in favour of the proposed capital increase at the extraordinary meeting of EI Towers scheduled for 27 March 2015.”