March 22, 2017 / 5:12 PM / 5 months ago

Vivendi's Ben Ammar says ready to act as mediator with Mediaset

MILAN, March 22 (Reuters) - Vivendi supervisory board member Tarak Ben Ammar said on Wednesday he was ready to act as a mediator between the French media group and Italian broadcaster Mediaset in a dispute over a collapsed pay-TV deal.

Mediaset and Vivendi are engaged in a legal battle after the French group walked away in July last year from an accord sealed a few months earlier to buy Mediaset's pay-TV business.

"If they want me I'm always ready to help friends, if they want to stick with lawyers then they don't need me," Ben Ammar told journalists in Milan. He is a long-time friend of Silvio Berlusconi, whose family controls Mediaset. Vivendi's biggest shareholder is French billionaire Vincent Bollore.

"I hope they can set emotions aside and be rational. Wars are not good for companies ... So far they haven't talked, but never say never," Ben Ammar added. (Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro, writing by Valentina Za, editing by Mark Bendeich)

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