BERLIN (Reuters) -ProSiebenSat.1’s top investor, MediaForEurope (MFE), so far has not told the German media group what its strategic goals are for its stake in the German media group, according to ProSieben’s chief executive.
“Therefore we also have no information as to whether (a potential takeover will happen) and how it could look,” Rainer Beaujean said on Thursday during an annual general meeting.
Previously known as Mediaset and controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, commercial broadcaster MFE said it has built a stake of more than 25% in ProSieben as part of a European growth strategy and could influence voting in the case of low stakeholder presence.
It has repeatedly urged ProSieben to engage with its drive to consolidate Europe’s broadcasting industry.
Speaking to journalists, Beaujean, who has given MFE the cold shoulder, made clear that ProSieben was strong enough to stand on its own two feet: “We can do it alone.”
Bavaria-based ProSieben has so far resisted, with Beaujean flagging at the AGM the group’s focus on local content to differentiate it from international streaming providers.
“We know very well, for example, that transnational platforms can work – but rarely in the media business,” Beaujean said. “Consolidation seems like an easier way forward, it’s not the right one, as there are no relevant, transnational synergies.”
MFE has criticised the supervisory board for a lack of transparency over its decision to reallocate three of its seats at last year’s AGM, but ultimately decided not to challenge the nominees with alternative candidates.
The Italians had also requested individual decisions on whether to endorse the executive and supervisory board members of ProSieben, which the German media group rejected.
Beaujean on Thursday defended ProSieben’s decision to have the vote on the boards’ endorsement take place collectively.
(Reporting by Klaus Lauer; Writing by Miranda Murray; Editing by Madeline Chambers and Bernadette Baum)