16 January 2018
| Alan Burkitt-Gray
Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset company may get a 20% stake in the joint venture between TIM – the former Telecom Italia – and French media company Canal+, Vivendi’s pay-TV operation.
The change will be linked to a TIM commitment to acquire
content from Mediaset, whose owner is a former prime minister
of Italy. Vivendi is the largest shareholder in TIM.
Currently TIM owns 60% and Vivendi/Canal+ owns 40%, but a
report in Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore
says Mediaset may take half of Vivendi’s stake,
leaving TIM with 60%.
In fact, says the newspaper, "Vivendi pay-TV [would get] just
over 20% and Mediaset just under 20%", while "TIM would always
The news comes as Vivendi prepares for a court battle with
Mediaset over its cancellation of a plan in 2016 to buy
Mediaset Premium, a pay-TV business.
That dispute is due to be heard in court at the end of
February, said Il Sole, which suggests that the
parties are hoping to agree on a new structure for the joint
venture before then in order to forestall the hearing.
TIM would take content worth €460 million from Mediaset
over a six-year period, says the news report.