Mediaset working on big deal in European TV sector - CEO

(Adds CEO quote, background)

ROME, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Italy's biggest private broadcaster Mediaset is working on a large merger or acquisition in Europe's TV sector, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

"We are working on something big and something complex... we believe in it," Pier Silvio Berlusconi said in reply to a question on European merger activity in the sector.

In June, Berlusconi said Mediaset was looking to create a pan-European broadcaster to fend off competition from traditional rivals and online content providers like Netflix .

Mediaset, controlled by the family of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, tried to broaden its business in 2016 with a pay-TV agreement with French media giant Vivendi aimed at building a southern European media powerhouse.

But the deal fell through when Vivendi, which owns 28.8 percent of the Italian group, backtracked, leading to a court battle.

"When the deal is done, we'll announce it," Berlusconi said.

(Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

2018-09-12 18:33:16

© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.