Italy’s commercial broadcaster Mediaset announced it has raised its stake in ProSiebenSat.1 to 24.2% from 20.1%, as it presses ahead with its plans “to create a pan-European TV champion”. The overall stake corresponds to voting rights for 24.9%, Mediaset said in a statement.
Controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Mediaset is pursuing a European growth strategy to resist the advance of United States’ streaming platforms.
Earlier this month, Germany’s anti-trust watchdog cleared the way for Mediaset to raise its stake in ProSiebenSat.1 to up to 25%, allowing it to vote its stake at the German company’s annual general meeting in June. Under Germany’s rules, the acquisition by one or several enterprises of a material competitive influence over another company can constitute a concentration under certain circumstances if the stake held is under 25%. In this case, the Bundeskartellamt raised no objection.
Mediaset España, the company’s Spanish unit with which it plans to merge under the currently stalled MediaForEurope project, acquired a 4.25% stake in the German broadcaster’s share capital in February, equivalent to 4.38% of voting rights excluding treasury shares. The move took the Spanish unit’s stake in ProSiebenSat.1 to 9.75% after it acquired a 5.5% stake in ProSiebenSat.1 in November last year.
Mediaset Italia separately owned a further 9.6% share in the German broadcaster at that time, giving the group as a whole a 20.1% of voting rights, excluding treasury shares, before the latest acquisition.