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Vivendi piles pressure on Mediaset over MediaForEurope vote

Vivendi is continuing to pile pressure on Mediaset following the approval given by yesterday’s Mediaset shareholders’ meeting that approved the company’s merger with Mediaset España and the creation of new Dutch holding company MediaForEurope.

Vivendi, which strongly opposes the merger, said that the resolution green-lighting the project would have been rejected if Simon Fiduciaria, the trust in which it has deposited the bulk of its holding in Mediaset to comply with Italian media law, had been allowed to vote.

Vivendi said that “independent shareholders – not close to the Berlusconi family, Mediaset’s majority shareholder – present at the meeting overwhelmingly voted against the resolution”.

Vivendi’s claim was rejected by Mediaset, which accused its French shareholder of “making false statements whose sole purpose is to depress the stock market value of Mediaset’s shares”.

Mediaset said it was “not true that the majority of shareholders with voting rights other than Mediaset and Vivendi” voted against the proposed merger.

According to Mediaset, 78% of shareholders present approved the proposal, with 21% opposing. The majority easily surpassed the two thirds required for approval of the deal.However, it is understood that Fininvest and associated companies made up a majority of those in favour actually present at the meeting to vote.

Vivendi yesterday accused Mediaset’s board of “dragging their company into serious litigation” after the Italian media group denied Simon Fiduciaria the right to vote in the crucial shareholders meeting.

Vivendi said it will “use every legal recourse at its disposal in all relevant jurisdictions to challenge the proposed Media For Europe structure, both under national and European laws”.