The head of Vivendi has said a partnership with Mediaset is not essential to its strategy.
In an interview with French daily Les Echos, Arnaud de Puyfontaine said he would have preferred the Italian company to have delivered a good business plan rather than make statements such as “trust is zero”. De Puyfontaine was referring to an interview in the Italian Corriere della Sera in which Marina Berlusconi criticised the behaviour of Vivendi chairman Vincent Bolloré.
Vivendi’s bid for a share of the Mediaset Premium pay platform collapsed following what Vivendi described as a “significant differences in the analysis of the its subsidiary’s-Mediaset Premium-results”.
De Puyfontaine was aware of the state of the Mediaset accounts. “Of course, in the course of trade, only God knows what the future holds and we accounted for the losses. But in a subscription model such as pay-TV, it is possible to have a good idea of what will be the accounts over the next two years. We have seen that the 2017 and 2018 forecasts Mediaset Premium were not realistic.”
Having reviewed the data it became clear to the French company Mediaset Premium should remain a part of its parent company. Italy remains an interest, but not at any price.
“Vivendi’s plan to create a French group world leader in content remains valid. We will do everything to find a solution with Mediaset, but not a prerequisite. There are other players in Italy. Since May 2015, we began a journey in Telecom Italia that allows us to gain a foothold in infrastructure and places us in a good strategic position.”