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Mediaset, Vivendi finally end hostilities

Long-running row between the two companies is finally set to end

Mediaset and Vivendi are calling time on their long-running dispute, with the French company agreeing to sell its 29 per cent stake in the Italian broadcaster over the next five years.

The deal brings to an end the companies dispute over Mediaset’s plans to move its headquarters to the Netherlands, as well as their row over a 2016 plan for Vivendi to acquire Mediaset’s pay-TV business for €800 million.

That deal fell apart over the valuation of the pay-TV business, with Vivendi accusing Mediaset of inflating financial results. That led to Vivendi acquiring a stake in Mediaset, a move that the Italian group saw as hostile.

The new deal will see Vivendi sell shares amounting to 19.2 per cent of Mediaset over the next five years. Fininvest, a holding company owned by Silvio Berlusconi, will then buy 5 per cent of Vivendi’s stake in Mediaset.

Vivendi said it will “support Mediaset’s international development by voting in favour of the transfer of Mediaset’s headquarters to the Netherlands.”

The settlement deal is scheduled to close on July 22.