ROME, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Industry Minister Carlo Calenda has told the head of Vivendi that Rome is unhappy with the French media company’s hostile stake-building in Italian broadcaster Mediaset, a source close to the matter said.
The minister met with Vivendi Chief Executive Arnaud de Puyfontaine in Rome on Friday.
“Calenda said the government doesn’t like the timing or the methods of the operation and he asked de Puyfontaine to clarify their intentions (over Mediaset) and calm things down,” the source said.
Vivendi this week became Mediaset’s second biggest shareholder after Fininvest, the holding company of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, buying aggressively to build a 20 percent stake after unveiling a 3 percent holding on Monday.
Vivendi, which is headed by French billionaire and corporate raider Vincent Bollore, is also the top shareholder in Italy’s biggest telecoms group Telecom Italia.
Vivendi and Mediaset have been at loggerheads since July when the French media group backtracked on a previous deal to buy the Italian broadcaster’s pay-TV unit and exchange a 3.5 percent holding in each company. (Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, writing by Gavin Jones, editing by Valentina Za)