Berlusconi’s Mediaset becomes new stakeholder in ProSiebenSat.1
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.