Berlusconi’s Mediaset becomes new stakeholder in ProSiebenSat.1

30. May 2019

Munich — Silvio Berlusconi’s media group Media­set beco­mes a new share­hol­der in ProSiebenSat.1. Munich and the Itali­ans describe the purchase of 10 percent as “friendly”.

The Italian media group Media­set buys 9.6 percent of ProSiebenSat.1 s shares. The block of shares is worth around EUR 330 million. Media­set CEO Pier Silvio Berlus­coni, son of ex-Prime Minis­ter Silvio Berlus­coni, announ­ced today (Wednes­day) that this is a “friendly acqui­si­tion” and “a long-term decis­ion aimed at crea­ting value with an incre­asingly inter­na­tio­nal focus.”

Group CEO Max Conze, “welco­mes” the invest­ment and sees it “as a vote of confi­dence in our stra­tegy and team.” Conze’s friendly reac­tion is proba­bly also due to the fact that Media­set does not want to force a restruc­tu­ring of ProSiebenSat.1’s manage­ment level: “We value ProSiebenSat.1’s manage­ment team,” the Itali­ans explai­ned. Media­set appre­cia­tes the manage­ment team of ProSiebenSat.1, Berlus­coni empha­si­zed. Since last year, the company from Unter­föh­ring near Munich has been mana­ged by Max Conze, who previously headed the vacuum clea­ner manu­fac­tu­rer Dyson.

Media­set entry posi­tive for ProSie­ben share
The share acqui­si­tion deepens the exis­ting part­ner­ship between the two media groups. Both have been working toge­ther in the Euro­pean Media Alli­ance (EMA) for five years. ProSie­ben is the larger part­ner here: While the Germans gene­ra­ted conso­li­da­ted reve­nues of EUR 4.9 billion in 2018, the Itali­ans achie­ved only EUR 3.4 billion. Both groups are strugg­ling with decli­ning reve­nues in their core TV adver­ti­sing busi­ness. “The aim of the alli­ance is to realize econo­mies of scale, which are crucial for the future of Euro­pean tele­vi­sion,” says Media­set boss Berlus­coni. Howe­ver, ProSiebenSat.1 did not respond to a FINANCE inquiry as to which speci­fic econo­mies of scale were involved.

On the capi­tal market, howe­ver, the Media­set entry is alre­ady helping Conze. Since Conze took office exactly one year ago, ProSieben’s share price has fallen from 25 to 13 euros. Many short-sellers were and are active in the stock. During this time, ProSie­ben CFO Jan Kemper, who had star­ted out as a beacon of hope, also threw in the towel. Today, howe­ver, the stock is up by around 5 percent and is once again trading at more than 15 euros. The Media­set share, on the other hand, slip­ped slightly.

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