By Giulia Petroni
Mediaset said Friday that it failed to reach an agreement with its shareholder Vivendi and confirmed it will proceed to create a pan-European media group despite the French broadcaster's attempts to halt the project.
The Italian broadcaster said its plan to merge with Mediaset Espana Comunicationes SA (TL5.MC) to create the so-called Media for Europe company will go ahead.
The decision comes after the company failed to reconcile with Vivendi ahead of a court hearing scheduled for later Friday.
"The MFE Project is essential for the future of the Mediaset group, as well as for all its shareholders and stakeholders, who would suffer serious damage if it were not carried out," Mediaset said, adding that it called an extraordinary shareholders meeting for Jan. 10, related to the project.
Last month, Vivendi requested the Court of Milan to issue a preliminary suspension of Mediaset's plan to merge its Italian and Spanish businesses into a new Dutch holding company. Vivendi pledged legal action arguing the strategy "disregards basic shareholders' rights" and would only benefit Mediaset's largest shareholder Fininvest.
Write to Giulia Petroni at email@example.com