French media group Vivendi will vote in favour of plans to introduce a dual class share structure at Italian broadcaster Mediaset, the companies said on Thursday. Controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Mediaset earlier this year moved its legal headquarters to the Netherlands in a first step to create a pan-European TV champion pursuing alliances with peers. As part of this strategy, Mediaset is proposing to introduce a dual class share structure, giving each B share a nominal value worth 10 times an A share, with a 10-to-1 ratio also for voting rights.
Italian prosecutors have asked a judge to drop a case against Vivendi's owner and CEO for alleged market manipulation and obstruction of regulators in the French group's stakebuilding in Italy's Mediaset, one judicial and one legal source said. Prosecutors had investigated allegations that Vivendi's billionaire owner Vincent Bollore and CEO Arnaud De Puyfontaine used the prospect - and then collapse - of a deal to buy Mediaset's pay TV arm to drive down the Italian firm's shares and buy them on the cheap in 2016. Vivendi denied any wrongdoing in a statement after prosecutors wrapped up their probe in December 2020.
Mediaset's nine-month operating profit more than tripled year on year to exceed pre-pandemic levels, Italy's top commercial broadcaster said on Wednesday as it gave an upbeat outlook on advertising sales in its domestic market. The TV group controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reiterated its forecast for a "marked strengthening" of earnings and net profit this year compared with the past two years. Mediaset said its October advertising sales in Italy were up 1% from pre-pandemic 2019 and that it now expects 2021 domestic advertising sales to rise by at least 1.2% from two years ago.