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Mediaset to continue formation of Dutch holding company

Mediaset SpA will push through with the formation of Dutch holding company MFE-Mediaforeurope NV after shareholders approved "certain specific amendments" to the plan.

The amendments to the merger plan adhere to proposals suggested by the Court of Milan, Mediaset said in a news release.

The vote took place on Jan. 10 during an extraordinary shareholders meeting.

Mediaset did not oppose Vivendi SA, which holds a 9.61% stake in the Italian company, to vote during the meeting, but barred Simon Fiduciaria SpA, which holds a 19.19% stake in Mediaset, from joining the vote. Vivendi owns Simon Fiduciaria's stake in Mediaset and holds it on a fiduciary basis.

Vivendi said in a statement that it "deplores" the "irregular approval" of the merger plan, which the French company said was approved because of Mediaset's "unlawful refusal" to allow Simon Fiduciaria to vote. Vivendi filed lawsuits in September 2019 to counter Mediaset's plan to create MFE-Mediaforeurope, but failed to meet an out-of-court agreement.

The vote also comes a day after Vivendi requested an Italian administrative court to suspend a ruling that forces it to freeze two-thirds of its 28.8% stake in Mediaset.

According to Mediaset, the merger is expected to bring realization of synergies of about €100 million to €110 million before tax in the next four years, corresponding to a net present value of approximately €800 million.

A general meeting of Mediaset España Comunicación SA shareholders was set for Feb. 5.