Mediaset’s top investor ups stake in peace deal with Vivendi

Mediaset’s top investor Fininvest has bought an additional 5% of Italy’s top commercial broadcaster from French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA) as envisaged by an accord between the three companies, a joint statement said on Thursday.

The transaction marks the closing of a broader agreement ending a five-year legal dispute between Mediaset, controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and its second-largest investor Vivendi.

Fininvest, the holding company of the Berlusconi family, paid some 160 million euros for the 5% stake based on the agreed price of 2.70 euro per share. It now owns 49.2% of the broadcaster and controls a majority of voting rights.

Under the peace deal struck in May, Vivendi will over the next five years sell its 19.2% stake in the broadcaster held by a trust called Simon Fiduciaria. Fininvest has a call option to buy any unsold shares each year at a set price.

Vivendi will remain a shareholder of Mediaset with its residual 4.61% stake and will be free to hold the stake or sell it at any time for any price, the companies said at that time.

As part of the agreement, Mediaset also distributed an extraordinary dividend to its shareholders, including 102 million euros to Vivendi.