Italian court supports Mediaset's European strategy, Vivendi to appeal

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ROME, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- French media giant Vivendi on Tuesday began the process of appealing a court ruling in Milan that blocked it from scuttling the plans from former ally Mediaset to create a pan-European media company.

Mediaset has announced plans to create a new company called Media For Europe that would combine its holdings in Italy, Spain and Germany.

Vivendi owns a 26-percent stake in Mediaset, the result of a 2016 joint venture plan that fell through. The Paris-based company said in a statement sent to journalists Tuesday that it is seeking to block the deal to create Media For Europe because it would dilute the value of the holdings of minority shareholders.

According to preliminary court documents, the Milan judge ruled that forcing Mediaset to abandon its strategy to create Media For Europe would unfairly limit the company.

"Vivendi remains fully convinced that the Mediaset merger plan severely harms the interests of minority shareholders," Vivendi said in a statement. "It also continues to believe that the Mediaset board's decision to repeatedly exclude certain minority shareholders from voting...will ultimately be rejected in court."

Vivendi's appeal means the most recent ruling will be revisited and opens the door to it being overturned. But Mediaset will be allowed to go forward with the process of creating Media For Europe in the meantime. Enditem

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