German authority ‘clears Mediaset to up ProSieben stake’

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bunsdeskartellamt, has given its seal of approval to a proposed deal which would see Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset increase its stake in ProSiebenSat.1, Reuters reported.

Citing a spokesman for the authority, the news provider said such a move would not raise any concerns from a competition perspective.

Mediaset currently owns just over 20.0 per cent of the Unterföhring-headquartered mass media player, with Reuters noted this could be increased to as much as 25.0 per cent.

Doing so would allow the Milan-headquartered company to vote at the firm’s annual general meeting.

According to Reuters, Mediaset is in the process of recruiting allies to help create a television player which would span multiple European countries and could therefore compete with US streaming firms.

No details as to when a deal could take place or the likelihood of any transaction occurring have been disclosed at this time.

Reports of a stake increase emerged at the start of April, when Mediaset sought the Bundeskartellamt’s approval, saying it intended to take a significant competitive interest in ProSiebenSat.1.

The company previously increased its holding from 15.1 per cent to 20.1 per cent in late March.

As part of that deal, it acquired 11.65 million shares, which can be valued at EUR 165.90 million, based on the target’s most recent closing share price at the time (EUR 14.24).

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This represented the largest purchase of a minority stake in a television broadcaster to have been announced worldwide since the beginning of 2020, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk.

Interestingly, the second-placed deal also involves the acquisition of a stake of around 5.0 per cent in ProSiebenSat.1 as RUBY Equity Investment paid EUR 115.07 million to increase its holding in the firm from 5.5 per cent to 10.0 per cent.

© Zephus Ltd

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