Spain Court Upholds Suspension of Mediaset European Merger Plan

(Bloomberg) --

A Madrid appeals court ruled against the merger between Mediaset Espana Comunicacion SA and its parent, Italy’s Mediaset SpA, a move that could delay the deal and lead to further litigation.

The ruling Monday upheld the decision of a lower court to declare decisions by a September meeting of Mediaset Espana shareholders invalid, according to a copy of the decision seen by Bloomberg News. The September assembly had voted in favor of the merger.

The Spanish appeals decision does not take into account bylaw changes that helped clear the way for the deal’s approval in Italian courts.

Mediaset is seeking to merge with its subsidiary and create a new company based in the Netherlands, with the goal of creating a European television giant. France’s Vivendi SA, Mediaset’s second-largest shareholder, is opposing the plan in court.

A Spanish court will now have to issue a new ruling taking into account changes to Mediaset’s bylaws that helped the broadcaster get the go-ahead for the merger in Italy.

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