The French group Vivendi, parent company of Canal +, and the Italian Mediaset announced, Monday, May 3, to be “Reached a global agreement putting an end to their differences by waiving all disputes and all complaints between them”, according to a joint press release, also with the holding company of the Berlusconi family, Fininvest.
The group of the Berlusconi family and that of Vincent Bolloré had agreed in 2016 to launch a content platform likely to compete with the American Netflix, via the purchase by the French group of 100% of the package of pay TV channels Mediaset Premium.
But Vivendi very quickly denounced this agreement, believing that it had been misled about the true value of Mediaset Premium. Then launched in the wake of a lightning raid to acquire 28.8% of Mediaset, judged “Hostile” by the Berlusconi family. This raid also came up against an Italian law on the plurality of the media which had forced Vivendi to ” freeze “ some 20% of its stake, entrusting it to a trust company.
” Good neighborhood “
In June 2017, Mediaset and its main shareholder Fininvest then sued Vivendi, claiming 3 billion euros in damages. Since then, the Italian and European courts have been trying to settle the dispute, Vivendi having notably pocketed a victory in September 2020 before European justice, but having been condemned in April by a court in Milan to pay 1.7 million euros in damages and interests in Mediaset.
According to the compromise announced Monday evening, Vivendi, Mediaset’s second shareholder, has undertaken to sell all of the 19.19% of Mediaset’s capital which had been frozen within five years, and will remain a shareholder in the Italian television group. up to 4.61%.
The agreement provides that Vivendi will vote in favor of relocating Mediaset’s headquarters to the Netherlands. The group wants to merge its Italian and Spanish activities and its 15.1% stake in the German ProSiebenSat.1, in a holding under Dutch law called MFE (Media For Europe), which Vivendi had opposed until now, even in the courts.
The two European audiovisual giants have also concluded ” good neighborhood “ in free television for a period of five years. Dailymotion, a subsidiary of Vivendi, has finally committed to pay 26.3 million euros to put an end to a copyright dispute with RTI and Medusa, subsidiaries of Mediaset. The finalization of this agreement is scheduled for July 22, 2021.