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Mediaset secures green light from shareholders for Europe plan

Mediaset has secured a green light from shareholders for its creation of a new holding company, MediaForEurope, and its merger with Mediaset España. 

Seventy-eight per cent of shareholders present approved the proposal, with 21% opposing. The majority easily surpassed the two thirds required for approval of the deal.

The merger was strongly opposed by Mediaset shareholder Vivendi.

Mediaset earlier confirmed that it would not allow Simon Fiduciaria, the trust that holds the majority of shares in the company purchased by Vivendi, to participate in today’s crucial extraordinary general meeting of shareholders, following confusion about exactly how a court ruling this week applied to the company.

Following the Court of Milan’s ruling in the French media group’s favour, Mediaset said that Vivendi itself would be allowed to vote with its direct 9.61% share and 9.99% voting share.

However, the Italian group said that Simon Fiduciaria, which holds a 19.19% stake and 19.9% voting share, would be blocked from accessing the meeting and from voting.

Mediaset maintains that Vivendi acquired its 28.8% stake in Mediaset in violation of a 2016 agreement between the pair that Vivendi subsequently reneged on, and that its holding violates Italy’s TUSMAR law that prevents groups from holding large stakes simultaneously in media and telecom groups in the country.

The Italian group has contested Vivendi’s claim that its transfer of its holding above the 10% TUSMAR threshold to Simon Fiduciaria meets that requirement. Vivendi was required to adhere to the TUSMAR rule because of its 23.9% stake in Telecom Italia.

Vivendi voted against the MediaForEurope plan, which it says is against the interests of minority shareholders.