Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Berlusconi's Mediaset pulls bid for La7 network

English
© ANSA

(see previous)
(ANSA) - Rome, September 18 - Ex-premier Silvio
Berlusconi's Mediaset media group has pulled out of the running
for the bid to purchase La7, Italy's fourth and smallest
commercial TV channel, company directors said on Tuesday.
"To avoid any further twisting of the situation, we
formally and publicly remove ourselves. We hope that the sale
continues successfully - and with brilliant new stock market
performance - but that the name of our company is no longer used
to create visibility and interest in search of buyers," said the
memorandum.
Mediaset dropped out after not receiving the necessary
tender details "needed to proceed," said the release.
The possibility of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp as a new
bidder in the running for the purchase of La7 was announced on
Tuesday and called a "good match" by popular news presenter
Enrico Mentana.
"They are a serious group with an impressive dossier that
knows about television," Mentana said.
La7 network is up for sale because of debt-trimming by
parent Telecom Italia, the largest telecommunications company in
Italy.
Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabe' said on Tuesday that his
company would not sell for "just any amount", nor would they
consider projects that would drastically alter La7's current
format.
"The selling price has an important role, but there is also
the project proposal to consider," Bernabe' said.
Prime-time news host Mentana boosted the channel's ratings
when he joined La7 after being sacked as news chief of
ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's Canale 5 (owned by Mediaset) in
2004 and expressed doubts that he would remain with La7 if
Mediaset purchased the channel.
"Mediaset is a market player, not Hitler. But I would leave
for problems I personally have had in the past with Mediaset
management," Mentana said.
Al Jazeera, Sky Italia, Discovery Channel and Espresso
publishing group, which owns liberal Italian daily La
Repubblica, have also expressed interest in the purchase.
"I am not doing DNA exams on possible buyers, but I don't
see conflicts of interest with Espresso, whose owner does not
have political aspirations or show signs of interfering with the
tone of the news (by injecting bias)...unlike Berlusconi,"
Mentana said referring to Carlo De Benedetti, Espresso group's
owner and Silvio Berlusconi's traditional rival.
Analysts say that La7′s market value increased because of
its moderate, balanced approach to news reporting specialized in
accurate, wider-ranging information programs.

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