Mediaset’s shares rose on Friday as speculation mounted that the Italian’s broadcaster was close to agreeing a truce with Vivendi, ending the pair’s long-running feud over the French media group’s decision to pull out of a deal that would have seen it take over Mediaset’s pay TV arm.
Reuters reported that the pair were in talks and that Vivendi was hopeful of striking a deal before the next scheduled court hearing in Mediaset’s legal suit against the French company, on December 19.
However, Mediaset CFO Marco Giordani told Reuters that, while the two companies’ lawyers were talking, there was no immediate deal in sight. Asked about the December 19 deadline, Giordani told the news agency that the prospects were “not so hot”.
Mediaset is seeking about €3 billion in damages from Vivendi over the consequences of the latter’s decision to pull out of the April 2016 agreement that would have seen it take control of Mediaset Premium, the Italian broadcaster’s loss-making pay TV unit, and Vivendi and Mediaset exchange 3.5% stakes in each other’s companies.
At the end of 2016 Vivendi acquired a 28.8% stake in Mediaset in a series of moves that were viewed as hostile by the Italian broadcaster, leading to accusations that the French outfit had deliberately sought to undermine Mediaset in order to acquire a strategic stake at a knock-down price.