June 5, 2020 / 11:01 AM / a month ago

Mediaset presses ProSieben to commit to growth - Der Spiegel

June 5 (Reuters) - Mediaset, the largest shareholder in ProSiebensat.1 Media, urged the German broadcaster on Friday to present a convincing growth strategy for its core media business at next week’s annual general meeting.

The Italian broadcaster has amassed a stake of nearly a quarter in Munich-based ProSieben as it pushes a strategy to encourage European consolidation and resist the advance of U.S. streaming giants led by Netflix.

That created enough pressure to force out ProSieben CEO Max Conze in March, after his attempt to pivot to digital commerce and entertainment flopped. New CEO Rainer Beaujean has pledged to refocus on ProSieben’s roots in commercial television.

ProSieben’s strategy has caused it to lose market share to its rival RTL Group, Mediaset’s Chief Financial Officer Marco Giordani told Germany’s Spiegel news weekly in an interview.

“ProSieben management must now present a growth strategy - at the moment I don’t see one. Everything I have seen so far will cause the business to shrink,” Giordani said in extracts of the interview released ahead of publication.

Mediaset this week increased its direct stake in ProSieben Media to 11.7% from 8.9%. Including shares controlled indirectly through financial instruments, its stake is 24.2%. ProSieben holds its AGM on June 10. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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