Friday, 17 August 2018

Vivendi's TIM-Mediaset appeal decision due 'after summer'

By Nick Wood, for Total Telecom
Thursday 05 July 18

French media group will have to wait to find out if it must cut its stake in one of either Telecom Italia or Mediaset

Vivendi won't find out until after the summer whether it must cut its stake in either TIM or Mediaset, it emerged this week. In April 2017, Vivendi was given 12 months to reduce its holding in one of the two…

Vivendi won't find out until after the summer whether it must cut its stake in either TIM or Mediaset, it emerged this week.

In April 2017, Vivendi was given 12 months to reduce its holding in one of the two, after regulator AGCOM decreed that its 24% share in TIM and its 29% share in Mediaset violated Italy's media plurality law. The France-based media conglomerate appealed the decision last June, but to comply with the order, it transferred in April this year 19.9% of Mediaset to a trust called Simon Fiduciaria.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that there won't be a ruling on Vivendi's appeal any time soon.

"There will be a decision no earlier than 45 days, but more probably after the summer," said a source quoted in the report.

Vivendi asserts that, contrary to AGCOM's ruling, it does not wield a dominant influence over Mediaset. If its appeal is successful, it will be able to maintain its current stakes in both the broadcaster and Italian incumbent TIM.

It is also worth noting that since the furore over Vivendi's dual holdings erupted, the company's influence over one of those companies has diminished somewhat.

In May, Vivendi lost control of TIM's board after shareholders voted in favour of a slate of candidates nominated by activist investor Elliott and backed by the Italian government, which a month earlier had taken a 5% stake in the telco.

The vote saw Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine ousted as chairman of TIM and replaced by onetime TIM CFO Fluvio Conte instead.

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