RTL seeks Mediaset stake

Pressure to divest Berlusconi's media holdings

MILAN — Pan-Euro broadcaster RTL has approached Italy’s newly elected prime minister Silvio Berlusconi about buying a stake in his TV company Mediaset, according to Italian daily paper Il Messaggero.

“Mediaset has a suitor, Bertelsmann’s RTL Group,” the Friday headline said. “In the last few days, RTL managers have approached Silvio Berlusconi’s TV group and have not found closed doors,” the story claimed.

After Berlusconi’s electoral victory on May 13, calls for him to divest himself of at least a portion of his media holdings have grown more insistent.

Mediaset, Italy’s largest TV company, and RTL, Europe’s most powerful station group, have long enjoyed a close relationship, and they are partners in the publishing sector. According to Il Messaggero, RTL’s overture was relayed to Berlusconi by Germany’s Kirch Group, an ally of both Mediaset and RTL through its shareholder CLT/Ufa.

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