Vivendi details revised offer for Mediaset pact

French media group Vivendi has revealed a “more ambitious” offer in its bid to acquire the Mediaset Premium pay-television operation of media company Mediaset, one of the leading sports broadcasters in Italy.

Vivendi yesterday (Tuesday) confirmed, following a request from French stock market regulator the AMF, that on July 25 it sent a letter to Mediaset relating to the Mediaset Premium acquisition, proposing an alternative structure.

In April, Vivendi had seemingly sealed a deal to acquire Mediaset Premium. The original share-based deal valued Mediaset Premium at €800m ($878.4m). Vivendi was set to acquire Mediaset's 89-per-cent stake in Mediaset Premium and the remaining 11-per-cent stake held by Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica. Vivendi and Mediaset were also supposedly set to acquire a 3.5-per-cent stake in each other’s entity.

Under the new terms, a 3.5 per cent share in Vivendi has been proposed in exchange for a 20 per cent share in Mediaset Premium and a 3.5 per cent stake in Mediaset. Vivendi said convertible bonds into Mediaset shares will be issued by Mediaset to Vivendi for the remaining amount.

In a statement, Vivendi said: “Such a structure would fully align the interests of the respective groups. Acquiring a direct stake in Mediaset Premium will enable Vivendi to bring its know-how in pay-TV, while keeping intact the synergies between pay and free TV activities within the Mediaset group.

“This proposal represents a more ambitious project, in line with the development of the television market and the strategy developed by our main competitors. It also reinforces Vivendi’s commitment to building a major strategic alliance with Mediaset and Mediaset Premium.”