ProSieben says lead investor MFE refused compromise to supervisory board

The logo of German media company ProSiebenSat.1 is seen outside the headquarters in Unterfoehring near Munich, Germany November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

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BERLIN/MILAN, March 28 (Reuters) – German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 (PSMGn.DE) says lead investor MediaForEurope (MFE) (MFEA.MI), (MFEB.MI) has rejected a bid for a seat on the of its supervisory board, suggesting that no compromise was reached before a shareholder vote in May.

Formerly known as Mediaset, MFE has repeatedly called for closer cooperation with the Munich-based group, in which it has a stake of more than 25%, as well as to engage in strategy discussions, in concentrating on its core television business. .

Controlled by the family of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, MFE sees building a continental television champion as the answer to the challenges posed to traditional broadcasters by streaming giants and online advertising platforms.

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For its part, the German television group is pursuing a stand-alone strategy, while investing in technology activities, such as e-commerce operations and online dating platform ParshipMeet.

In December, ProSieben announced that it was extending CEO Rainer Beaujean’s contract until 2027 and that the supervisory board intended to propose Andreas Wiele, a former member of the Axel Springer management board, as the new chairman.

The MFE was not informed in advance of such a plan, nor was it involved in the decision to propose former RTL boss Bert Habets and Rolf Nonnenmacher for the two seats which are to be reallocated. at the annual general meeting on May 5.

MFE has no representatives on the supervisory board but has reserved the right to present competing candidates by April 20.

In a statement on Monday, Prosiebensat.1 said the supervisory board unanimously approved the election proposals, which were the result of a comprehensive selection process launched in mid-2021.

He added that he was also offering shareholder MFE-MediaForEurope the opportunity to nominate its own nominee in return for supporting supervisory board candidates.

“MFE-MediaForEurope rejected this proposal, which the supervisory board deeply regrets”.

MFE declined to comment.

A source familiar with the matter said the MFE board could be briefed on the developments at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

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Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Elvira Pollina, writing by Miranda Murray, editing by Thomas Escritt and Keith Weir

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