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Mediaset revives MediaForEurope plans, extends olive branch to Vivendi

Mediaset is reviving its plans to launch a pan-European media group and move its headquarters to the Netherlands. 

The Italian company has said that it would ask shareholders to approve the plans which were previously shelved due to opposition from its second-largest investor Vivendi. 

The group, previously dubbed MediaForEurope, was envisioned to provide the continent with a way of staving off the influence of US companies like Netflix and Disney. Setting its legal headquarters in the Netherlands would make it easier to seek European tie-ups, but Vivendi has staunchly rejected the move since it walked away from a pay TV deal in 2016.

Vivendi has dragged Mediaset through the courts across Europe, but the latter is now extending an olive branch by offering to scrap a loyalty share scheme which Vivendi had challenged.

The Berlusconi family-controlled group said that it is looking to “establish a constructive dialogue” with shareholders over the scheme.

The announcement came after Mediaset announced its annual results, in which its operating profit fell to €269.7 million from €354.6 million in 2019. Mediaset was significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, but made a recovery in domestic ad sales in the second half of the year.