MILAN, July 19 (Reuters) - A joint takeover by Italian infrastructure fund F2i and broadcaster Mediaset of masts group EI Towers will pave the way for a merger with rival Rai Way, a source directly involved in the takeover said.
On Monday, state-sponsored F2i and Mediaset, which is controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said they would launch a buyout offer on EI Towers through an investment vehicle controlled by F2i.
The transaction will put F2i in the driving seat and loosen the grip of Mediaset, which now controls EI Towers with a 40 percent stake.
“The takeover will effectively amount to Berlusconi taking a back seat in the masts business and it could pave the way for a merger with Rai Way over the medium-term. That’s where we’re headed,” the source said. (Reporting by Giancarlo Navach; writing by Francesca Landini; editing by Paola Arosio)