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By Mauro Orru
PARIS (Dow Jones) – Media groups Vivendi and Mediaset have reached an agreement to resolve their nearly five-year litigation and end the heated argument. The two groups announced on Monday evening that they would waive all legal disputes and claims against each other. Vivendi will approve several resolutions at Mediaset’s annual general meeting and reduce its overall stake in Mediaset.
The French conglomerate Vivendi SE and Mediaset SpA, owned by the family of the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have been in a clinch since 2016 when Vivendi canceled a deal to take over Mediaset’s pay-TV division Mediaset Premium.
Vivendi, controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore, then increased its stake in Mediaset to 28.8 percent, which the Italian group viewed as hostile and took action against it.
In 2017, a decision by the Italian communications agency Agcom forced Vivendi to transfer a 19.19 percent stake in Mediaset to the Asset Trust Simon Fiduciaria SpA in order to comply with a law protecting media pluralism in Italy.
As part of the agreement that has now been reached, Vivendi agreed to sell the 19.19 percent stake held by Simon Fiduciaria over a period of five years.
Mediaset’s majority shareholder, Fininvest SpA, the holding company controlled by the Berlusconi family, will buy a five percent stake in Mediaset, which Vivendi will hold directly. The French company remains a shareholder with a stake of 4.61 percent and can keep this stake or sell it at any time and at any price.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 04, 2021 3:02 AM ET (07:02 GMT)