Mediaset has acquired a 9.6% stake in German's ProSieben.Sat1, in a move it describes as 'an investment in the future of European free-to-air television'.
Yesterday's acquisition of shares on the open market also gives the Italian group a 9.9 share of the voting capital. Based on the closing share price, the investment would be worth around €340 million ($380 million). The acquisition builds on an existing strategic relationship between the groups and France's TF1 which was cemented by an investment in ProSieben.Sat1's MCN, Studio 71.
In a statement, ProSiebenSat1 said it welcomed the investment and 'sees this as a vote of confidence in our strategy and our team'.
Mediaset's investment in ProSiebenSat1 makes sense given the Italian group's history of exploring opportunities in other European markets (including Spain, where it is well established as a broadcaster) and its limited options for expansion in its home market. With the winding-down of its Mediaset Premium pay TV venture, which will is about to close down on digital terrestrial, Mediaset is looking to build on its core advertising business through targetited and programmatic advertising as well as the online opportunities exploited by companies like Studio 71.
A comparison of the two groups underlines their different positions in their respective markets.