Vivendi and Mediaset end their legal fight



Vivendi and Mediaset bury the hatchet. The group led by Vincent Bolloré, the Italian media group and its largest shareholder, Fininvest, the Berlusconi holding company, announced on Monday evening that they had “reached a comprehensive agreement putting an end to their differences by waiving all litigation and all complaints between them ”.

Which puts an end to a five-year-old conflict. The case began in 2016 when Vivendi renounced an agreement to purchase the Mediaset Premium pay-TV division. He was in the process gradually increased to almost 30% of the capital of Mediaset, in a movement considered hostile and illegal by the Italian group.

Transfer of shares

The fights before the courts had multiplied and Mediaset and Fininvest had in particular taken Vivendi to court, claiming more than 3 billion euros in damages. A fortnight ago, the Milan court had however condemned the French group to pay only 1.7 million euros in compensation, rejecting most of the accusations of the Italian group.

According to the transactional agreement unveiled on Monday, Vivendi, Mediaset’s second shareholder, will sell “all of the 19.19% of the capital of Mediaset held by [l’intermédiaire de] Simon Fiduciaria on the market and over a five-year horizon ”.

“Good neighbor” agreements

It is also expected that Fininvest will buy back 5% of the shares held directly by the French group. The latter “will remain a Mediaset shareholder up to its residual share of 4.61% and will be free to keep or sell this participation at any time and at any price”.

In exchange, Vivendi “will support the international development of Mediaset by voting in favor of the transfer of Mediaset’s headquarters to the Netherlands” which it had previously opposed. The two groups also “concluded good neighborly agreements in free television and standstill for a period of 5 years”.

Exceptional dividend

The owner of Canal + will also vote in favor of the distribution of an exceptional dividend of 30 euro cents per share which will be proposed by Fininvest at the annual general meeting of Mediaset on 23 June.

In this file with drawers, Dailymotion, the subsidiary of video platform of Vivendi, moreover committed to pay a single amount of 26.3 million euros to put an end to the litigation relating to the copyright with RTI and Medusa, subsidiaries of Mediaset ”.

The finalization of the transactional agreement should take place on July 22.

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