Italian commercial broadcaster MediaForEurope (MFE) secured control of 82.9% of the capital of Mediaset Spain, its Madrid-listed television subsidiary. The figure is below the 85% that MFE's board of directors had previously set for its offer.
Formerly known as Mediaset and controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, MediaForEurope launched a cash-and-stock offer in May for the 44% of the Spanish network it did not already own. Now, shareholders who have tendered their shares will be entitled to a dividend of €0.05 per share, as MFE announced at the end of June, reversing its previous policy of not distributing dividends.
MFE's ultimate goal is to delist the Spanish operation, but it requires control of 90% of its stake to carry out that plan. The company appears to have put this aside for now, although sources close to the matter have indicated that the outcome of the public offering will not stand in the way of going ahead with MFE’s ambitions to create a broader pan-European media group.