Berlusconi company ‘may get 20%’ of TIM/Vivendi media venture

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 have 60%”.

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.

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