Vivendi and Mediaset have closed the global agreement the pair put to paper in May, ending a five-year long period of hostilities that began when the French media giant unilaterally pulled out of a deal to acquire the Italian company’s pay TV arm.
The agreement, encompassing multiple disputes between Vivendi on one side and Mediaset and its main shareholder Fininvest on the other, has put an end to all outstanding disputes, and the pair have mutually waived all pending lawsuits and complaints.
The closing means that Fininvest, the Berlusconi family’s investment vehicle, has acquired 5% of the shares in Mediaset held directly by Vivendi at a price of €2.70 a share.
Vivendi has undertaken to progressively sell on the market the entire 19.19% stake held by its proxy Simon Fiduciaria over the next five years. Fininvest will have the right to purchase any outstanding unsold sharesin each 12-month period at an established annual price.
The stake was transferred to the Italian outfit to comply with an Italian media law forbidding companies from simultaneously holding large stakes in broadcasters and telecom companies, a rule that has since been overturned by the intervention of the EU.
Following its withdrawal from the agreement to buy Mediaset Premium in 2016, Vivendi acquired a large stake in the Italian outfit, leading to accusations of market manipulation on the part of Mediaset and actions in the courts and with regulators to overturn the acquisition.
Later the dispute centred on Mediaset’s plans to merge with Mediaset España and create a new Dutch-registered international media company, plans that were frustrated by Vivendi’s intervention.
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