Vivendi says ties with Mediaset not 'broken'

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Ties between Vivendi (VIV.PA) and Italy’s Mediaset (MS.MI) are not “broken” but nor are they essential to the French media group’s strategy as it could find other Italian partners, its chief executive told Les Echos newspaper.

Relations between Mediaset and Vivendi have deteriorated after the French broadcaster had a change of heart on its planned purchase of Mediaset’s pay-TV and their spat escalated on Thursday as both threatened legal action.

“The ties are not broken,” Vivendi Chief Executive Arnaud de Puyfontaine said in an interview with Les Echos, before reiterating his company had no plans to take control of Mediaset.

“(A deal with Mediaset) is a not a sine qua non condition (for Vivendi to pursue its strategy in Europe). There are other actors in Italy,” he said.

(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Susan Fenton)