Top investor MFE will not sign off on ProSieben supervisory board actions

MILAN (Reuters) – MediaForEurope, the top investor in ProSiebensat.1, said on Wednesday it would not clear the company’s supervisory board from responsibility for actions taken last year at the German TV group shareholders’ meeting on Thursday.

Controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, MFE had criticised the supervisory board for a lack of transparency over its decision to reallocate three of its seats at the AGM.

But it ultimately decided not to challenge the nominees with alternative candidates.

German companies typically ask their shareholders to approve the actions of their boards over the previous year at the annual shareholder meeting.

The MFE action is likely to be in effect a protest vote, with no direct consequences. ProSieben declined to comment.

MFE also said on Wednesday it would back the executive board for its actions at the AGM and also welcomed the financial targets set by ProSieben CEO Rainer Beaujean, including a medium-term annual revenue growth of 4-5%.

Previously known as Mediaset, commercial broadcaster MFE has built a voting stake of more 25% in ProSieben as part of a European growth strategy, seen as the answer to challenges posed by streaming giants and online advertising platforms.

Bavaria-based ProSieben has showed little interest so far in MFE’s call for closer cooperation focused on the core TV business, pursuing a standalone strategy and also investing in tech business such as e-commerce and online dating.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Keith Weir)