MFE assesses plans for Spanish companies and increases ProSiebenSat participation

MADRID/MILAN (Reuters) – MediaForEurope will discuss options for its Mediaset Espana business on Monday, two sources said, following speculation the Italian broadcaster could bid for the stake it does not already hold in the Spanish company. .

The family-controlled group of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi issued a statement saying its board would meet on Monday or Tuesday to make decisions regarding Mediaset Espana.

MFE, which owns 55.7% of Mediaset Espana, is considering several options for its Spanish business, one of the sources said.

“A decision to privatize the unit listed in Spain is a concrete option that MFE is examining, along with other initiatives,” the source said.

The move could be a step in MFE’s plan to create a European broadcaster that can compete more effectively with online advertising and streaming giants.

On Monday, the Spanish regulator suspended trading in shares of Mediaset Espana after Bloomberg reported that MediaForEurope was considering making an offer for shares it does not own in the Spanish company.

Mediaset moved its headquarters to the Netherlands last year to relaunch its mergers and acquisitions plans.

The company, now called MediaForEurope, has adopted a dual shareholding structure, with a 10-to-1 voting power ratio, in a bid to have greater flexibility to fund potential transactions.

“The transaction makes sense for MFE as part of its strategy to…create a European operator capable of generating synergies in terms of operating costs (opex) and a technological upgrade of content,” wrote the Equita analysts in a note Monday, referring to a potential bid for minorities from Mediaset Espana.

In addition, MFE said it crossed a threshold of 25% of the voting rights of ProSiebenSat.1 by increasing its stake in the German media group

MFE did not disclose its increased stake. He said he bought the shares on the market.

(Reporting by Inti Landauro, Elvira Pollina; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)