Mediaset's top investor ups stake in peace deal with Vivendi

French media giant Vivendi's logo is pictured in Paris, France, August 12, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS/MILAN, July 22 (Reuters) - Mediaset's top investor Fininvest has bought an additional 5% of Italy's top commercial broadcaster from French media group Vivendi (VIV.PA) as envisaged by an accord between the three companies, a joint statement said on Thursday.

The transaction marks the closing of a broader agreement ending a five-year legal dispute between Mediaset, controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and its second-largest investor Vivendi. read more

Fininvest, the holding company of the Berlusconi family, paid some 160 million euros for the 5% stake based on the agreed price of 2.70 euro per share. It now owns 49.2% of the broadcaster and controls a majority of voting rights.

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Under the peace deal struck in May, Vivendi will over the next five years sell its 19.2% stake in the broadcaster held by a trust called Simon Fiduciaria. Fininvest has a call option to buy any unsold shares each year at a set price.

Vivendi will remain a shareholder of Mediaset with its residual 4.61% stake and will be free to hold the stake or sell it at any time for any price, the companies said at that time read more .

As part of the agreement, Mediaset also distributed an extraordinary dividend to its shareholders, including 102 million euros to Vivendi.

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Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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