Mediaset ups ProSiebenSat.1 stake to almost 20 per cent

Mediaset, the Italy-based commercial broadcaster, has increased its stake in ProSiebenSat.1, a German commercial broadcaster, to 19.35 per cent after acquiring a further 4.25 per cent shareholding via its Spanish arm, Mediaset España.

The deal is valued at €61m ($66m) and increases Mediaset España’s total stake in ProSiebenSat.1 to 9.75 per cent overall, according to a statement from Mediaset Group, the parent company of both the Italian and Spanish arms. 

Mediaset Group also said this deal afforded it 20.1 per cent of the voting shares within the commercial broadcasting group, which operates chiefly in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The ProSiebenSat.1 suite of channels include the flagship Sat.1 channel in Germany, along with ProSieben, ProSieben Maxx and Kabel Eins. In Austria, the group also owns and operates Puls 4, which holds Uefa Europa League rights (from 2018-19 to 2020-21).

Sports broadcast rights held by ProSiebenSat.1 include American football’s NFL, ESL esports events and WWE wrestling.

Mediaset España first acquired a stake in ProSiebenSat.1 in November, buying a 5.5-per-cent stake for €170m.

Mediaset’s Italian operation already held a 9.6-per-cent stake in the German broadcaster and the November announcement made it ProSiebenSat.1’s largest individual stakeholder.

The Italian broadcaster has repeatedly underlined the need for scale, stating the need for “a pan-European answer to increasing competition and technological challenges ahead” after the share acquisition in November.

Mediaset’s move comes at a time of upheaval at ProSiebenSat.1, notably in the broadcaster sports arm 7Sports.

7Sports chairman Željko Karajica stepped down from his role in late February as it was announced that the business would be restructuring with the aim of becoming a “leading digital sports marketer in the German-speaking region”.