Mediaset chief denies Murdoch sale rumors

Italian press still believes sale is in the works

MILAN — Mediaset CEO Adriano Galliani said Thursday that talks with global media baron Rupert Murdoch “are going well on different forms of cooperation, including co productions,” but he denied that the two groups are discussing the sale of a controlling stake in Italy’s largest commercial TV group.

Since the middle of February, the Italian press has been reporting that Silvio Berlusconi’s holding company Fininvest is discussing the sale of all or part of its 51% in Mediaset to Murdoch.

“These rumors are groundless,” Galliani said, commenting on a new report published by La Repubblica about the sale of 25% of Mediaset to the Australian tycoon.

Italy’s TV industry and stock market however, believe something is going on. Mediaset shares closed up 5.4% to 10,930 lire Thursday.

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