ProSiebensat.1, a German broadcaster, has rejected a proposal from MediaForEurope (MFE), formerly known as Mediaset, to split up the company. MFE, led by Pier Silvio Berlusconi, owns nearly 30% of ProSieben and is looking to spin off the e-commerce and dating assets to potentially acquire ProSiebensat.1 and create a pan-European media group. However, ProSiebensat.1 believes that the split-up is not in the best interests of all shareholders and has called on them to vote down the proposed plan at the upcoming annual general meeting in April.

Pier Silvio Berlusconi emphasized in an interview with an Italian newspaper that MFE’s offer to buy ProSieben can only happen after the spin-off of its e-commerce and dating businesses. This stance from both parties indicates a disagreement on the best way to move forward for both companies. ProSieben’s annual general meeting is crucial, as MFE would need a 75% majority to pass the proposed spinoff plan, with the support of Czech investment group PPF, the second-largest investor in ProSieben with a 9.1% stake.

MFE was established in 2021 when Mediaset rebranded as MediaForEurope and shifted its legal headquarters to the Netherlands. The company’s focus is on expanding its reach across Europe, with the merger of its Spanish subsidiary Mediaset Espana into MFE as the first step in its strategy to gain scale in the European market. ProSieben, as the second-largest TV group in Europe in terms of TV home penetration, operates free-to-air and pay-TV channels in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

The rejection by ProSieben of MFE’s proposed split-up plan is seen as a setback for MFE’s ambitions to create a pan-European media group. Pier Silvio Berlusconi’s vision for MFE hinges on acquiring ProSiebensat.1 after spinning off its e-commerce and dating assets, a plan that ProSieben does not believe is in the best interests of all shareholders. With the upcoming annual general meeting in April, the fate of the proposed spin-off plan and MFE’s ambitions to expand in Europe hangs in the balance.

The disagreement between ProSieben and MFE highlights the complexities of international media mergers and acquisitions, as well as the differing interests of major stakeholders in the industry. The outcome of the annual general meeting will be a crucial turning point for both companies, determining whether MFE can move forward with its plans for expansion or if ProSieben will maintain its current structure. The decision will have far-reaching implications for the future of both companies as they navigate the evolving landscape of the European media market.

As MFE seeks to reshape its business strategy and expand its reach in Europe, the rejection of its proposal by ProSieben underscores the challenges of integrating diverse interests and finding common ground in cross-border partnerships. The future of the proposed spinoff plan and MFE’s potential acquisition of ProSiebensat.1 will have a significant impact on the media industry in Europe, shaping the competitive landscape and influencing the direction of both companies in the years to come. The outcome of the upcoming annual general meeting will be closely watched by industry observers and investors alike as a key moment in the ongoing evolution of the European media market.

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