Cursed merger: the war with Vivendi forces Berlusconi to buy his 29% stake in Mediaset

A new challenge of the last meeting of Mediaset Spain moves away again the start-up of the new merged company.

Silvio Berlusconi, founder and president of Mediaset.

When on June 7, 2019 Mediaset announced the merger of its businesses in Italy and Spain to form a new operator, mediaforeurope, He never imagined that a year later they would still be immersed in a tangle of legal messes, contested boards and a project completely dry docked.

In the same way, Silvio Berlusconipattern Mediasetnever imagined that his dream of leading audiovisual production and broadcasting at the European level it was going to remain in a judicial battle that seems to have no solution and that on Tuesday it had a new setback. He never expected that live He would declare a frontal war on them and use all his legal arsenal to stop the operation.

By reporting the merger, Mediaset spoke of business development possibilities “difficult to achieve separately” and to “increase investments in Italy and Spain”. In addition, “all the synergies already foreseen could grow exponentially with the adhesion of a third or fourth country to the project”.

Mediaset and Berlusconi drew up a trans-European project with interests also in Germany through ProSiebenSat1, the main free-to-air private television network in this country and of which they already control 20%. The company would have a tax base in Italybut would be incorporated in the Netherlands, although it would continue to be listed on Italy and in Spain.

But none of this has been possible. A year later they still cannot approve even the first stage of the merger: that of the shareholders’ meeting. livedshareholder of Mediaset Italy and Spainhas become its worst enemy and has blocked the operation in every possible way, which at this point has no sign of coming to fruition if an out-of-court solution is not reached.

Vivendi’s options in Spain

The French giant, run by media tycoon Vincent Bolloreopposes the merger saying that it strengthens the control of the main shareholder of Mediasetthe family of the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

For his part, from Mediaset indicates that lived is a potential competitor in the new scenario of Media For Europe (MFE) so you don’t want to create a direct rival.

Fininvestof the family Berlusconiowns 50% of the shares of Mediaset Italy while lived it has 28.8%, but only 9.9% of the voting rights. The rest correspond to a trust of the French group that could not vote in the approval of the merger in the Italian board. In the case of Spain, Mediaset has 52% and Vivendi 1% bought little at the end of last year.

Vivendi’s strategy involves total blockade, according to some market sources, since it wants to boycott an operation that could put its future growth in Europe at risk. For this reason, it has successively challenged all the agreements of the Mediaset Shareholders’ Meetingsboth in Spain and in Italy.

In the Spanish case, Mediaset launched a new Shareholders’ Meeting to modify certain aspects that could justify Vivendi’s veto, but the French operator has returned -for the second time- to challenge the agreements.

Peninsula and Mediobanca

Eight months in which the negotiations have also taken place in private, but without reaching any type of agreement between the parties. This leads to a single solution according to the market sources consulted: that Mediaset or some close group buys 29% of Vivendi to remove them from the equation before starting the merger.

According to the original project, each Mediaset shareholder will receive one share of the new company for each share of the current companies and shareholders that are not Mediaset 2.33 shares of the new company. On Tuesday, Mediaset Italia shares closed at 1.74 euros and those of Spain at 3.64 euros, half of what they were trading for a year ago.

The current capitalization of Mediaset slightly exceeds 2,000 million euros, so a purchase – at current market prices – should be close to 700 million euros. It is clear that any out-of-court settlement with Vivendi should go through withdrawing all challenges and appeals in court, but also include a significant premium for this amount.

In September of last year, Peninsulathe fund led by Borja Prado and former bankers of Midbank, agreed to allocate a reserve fund of 1,000 million euros to facilitate the merger and buy the participation of those who did not agree with the operation. However, the operation had a limit of 5% of the total capital of Mediaset.

In this sense, sources consulted by Invertia indicate that Mediaset is still looking for a partner who can buy the Vivendi package that forces them to sign peace. However, the coronavirus and confinement paralyzed any movement. That is why movements are not ruled out between now and the end of the year, in order to unblock the operation and without the limitations of the state of alarm.

NTT Data will develop the system for the new electronic border registry in Spain for 6.37 million

Interior awards the contract to the company, previously known as Everis, in an accelerated procedure given the urgency of the deadlines.

Agent of the National Police in control of Malaga airport.

NTT Data will be the company in charge of developing the entire computer system for the start-up in Spain of the new electronic record arrivals and departures of travelers from third countries at the external borders of the European Union. A project with which the EU seeks to streamline, facilitate and strengthen border inspection procedures.

The General Subdirectorate of Economic and Patrimonial Management of the Ministry of the Interior has chosen the company previously known as Everis for this project and has done so through an urgent procedure, given the tight deadlines in which the start-up of this registry must be carried out.

Specifically, Everis Spain has been awarded the contract for a complete system, software, hardware and the necessary developments for its exploitation, in order to proceed with the implementation of the new electronic registration system for entries and exits and its connection to the central system of the EES (entry / exit system project).

As detailed in the Official State Gazette (BOE), the award was made through a bidding process with accelerated negotiation, given the “urgent need” to have a computer system imminently to be able to comply with the European calendars, both for tests or trials and for the entry into operation of the system itself.

Thus, the Ministry emphasizes that, given that the European calendar is mandatory, and taking into account the deadlines that could involve a usual process with corrections, justification of abnormally low offers, presentation of administrative documentation and other procedures, “the application of the urgent processing procedure is justified”.

Two companies submitted to this process opened by Interior, resulting in the successful bid submitted by Everis Spain (now NTT Data Spain), whose value amounts to 6,369,790.86 euros. The offer rejected by the Ministry had a somewhat higher value: 6,400,000 euros.

The offer price weighted 35% within the established criteria for the award of the contract. The greatest weight, 40%, has been given to the “model assumptions”, while the technical solution represented the remaining 25% of the assessment.

New electronic registration

Throughout the first half of 2022 it should come into operation throughout Europe this new registry that will replace the stamping of passports and will allow greater automation of border controls, as well as better detection of document and identity fraud, as defended by Brussels.

During the processing of the Regulation for the creation of this registry, the European Commission stressed that would help bridge a major information gap and contribute to achieving full interoperability of EU information systems with full respect for fundamental rights and data protection rules.

Sources familiar with the process have indicated to EL ESPAÑOL – Invertia that the project is already underway in Spain, which has become in one of the first countries to develop the needs and requirementssites that were required from Europe for the start-up of the registry.

Goggo foresees that in 18 months there will already be a fleet of autonomous delivery robots circulating in Spain

The startup Martin Varsavsky will take its autonomous vehicles to other European countries after carrying out its first tests in Madrid in 2022.

Martin Varsavsky, Yasmine Fage and Eduardo Uriarte of Goggo Network.

The streets of Madrid will see circulation at the beginning of next year the first autonomous home delivery robots thanks to the pioneering tests that will be carried out in real environments by Goggo Network, the company that enables autonomous mobility services founded by Martin Varsavsky.

Specifically, the company will put into operation two autonomous vehicles: a robot for the delivery of home orders in Glovo and a food truck with food from Mallorca and Dani García. An image that in early 2022 will be new, but that Varsavsky believes will become more common probably sooner than we expect.

In a conversation with EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia, Varsavsky has assured that in about 18 months we could already begin to see several of these vehicles circulating through the streets of Spain at a commercial level. “We are not talking about ten years, we are talking about a year and a half going to be able to see a fleet of these vehicles,” he said.

Autonomous robot for home delivery developed by Goggo Network and Glovo

Autonomous robot for home delivery developed by Goggo Network and Glovo
Goggo Network

In this sense, he has indicated that the company will take advantage of the tests that it is going to carry out at the beginning of next year in Madrid, once it has the definitive authorizations, to see what works and what doesn’t in order to improve the software before beginning its expansion at European level.

The company’s intention is to make the leap from Spain to other states of the Old Continent such as Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Italy or the Nordic countries. And for this he is already talking to companies that sell or deliver food to homes in those regions, just as he has done in Spain with Glovo or Mallorca.

Spain, test scene

But all this will come after the brand proves how these two vehicles work in the city of Madrid within the framework of the Mobility Sandbox of Villaverde launched by the City Council From the capital. In addition, the food truck It will also be tested on these dates in the town of Las Rozas.

Varsavsky has admitted his “pleasant surprise” by the fact that Madrid is the first place where they will be able to test these two robots in real scenarios since, although they are a company based in Alcobendas, they are very active in other countries such as Germany or France.

An autonomous vehicle, an autonomous foodtruck and a drone and a delivery robot that will be tested in Madrid

An autonomous vehicle, an autonomous foodtruck and a drone and a delivery robot that will be tested in Madrid
City of Madrid

“Really we thought we were going to make the first pilots outside of Spainbecause we thought that the country was not going to be a pioneer in authorizing this type of test”, admitted the businessman.

However, Varsavsky added that these pioneering experiences will be able to be carried out in the country thanks to the fact that the Madrid administration has “a less conservative vision than others”, as well as “a vocation for the future”.

A change of posture

The founder of Goggo Network wanted to highlight the bet that is being made by technology in numerous Spanish administrations, from city councils to the central government, passing through autonomous communities.

In this sense, he recalled that, when he launched Jazztel or Eolia Renovables in previous projects, for the businessman The relationship with the administration was not easy when it came to obtaining the permits to deploy fiber optics or install solar and wind installations throughout Spain.

However, he has assured that he fully understands his position, since it is a “difficult challenge” to regulate things that one day do not exist and the next Yes. But it has also detected a change in the way the Spanish administration works.

Varsavsky has detailed that before things were much more complicated and you had to go to other places to test things and bring them to Spain when they were already tested. Instead, he has noticed that now the country wants to be a pioneer and has described as “brilliant” the commitment to the sandoxwhich can be “a short cut to the future”.

united by technology

Likewise, he pointed out that, although people can see Spain as a country divided into many things, this is not the case with technology. In her opinion, the main political formations consider it “the key to the future” for a country that until now had not invested much in it and had opted for other sectors such as real estate.

“And now we realize that betting on the infurniture it was not for usnwell historically”, added Varsavsky, who stressed that the country has indeed benefited when it has resolutely supported technology and things will get better every time “if everyone we have an open mind about the possibilities” that it offers.

“I have invested a lot in Spain, I have done many things in Spain, but now I see more business opportunities than ever“, he stated.

Just Eat signs with UGT and CCOO the first collective agreement in Spain for the ‘riders’

Company and unions agree on a basic salary of 8.5 euros per hour in a text that balances the social protection of the employee and innovation.

Chema Martínez (CCOO), Juana Olmeda (CCOO), Patrik Bergareche (Just Eat) and Álvaro Vicioso (UGT)

The food delivery platform Just Eat Spain and the UGT and CC unions. OO. have signed this Friday first agreement on working conditions for the food delivery sector in Spaina text that seeks to become a point of reference to regulate the labor relations of ‘riders’ in the country.

Company and unions seek with this agreement go one step further than the ‘Rider Law’ in the regulation of the future of work in Spain and respond to the needs that the digitization process has created in the labor market, especially in the digital platform sector.

In fact, the document agreed upon by both parties, which is pioneer at the national level and one of the first in the European contexthas the ambition to become the starting point for a future homogeneous negotiation throughout the sector.

For this, the text regulates working conditions in a dynamic environment where technology plays an essential role and wants to eradicate the image of precariousness that it has today in the food delivery sector in Spain.

As explained by the signatories at a press conference, in addition to a living wage for delivery people, the document guarantees a certain day with digital disconnection, no loss of purchasing power and occupational health and safety conditions.

New conditions for the ‘riders’

Specifically, the agreement contemplates that the distributors will receive a basic salary of 8.5 euros, which represents an annual remuneration for a full day of 15,200 euros, a figure higher than the Minimum Interprofessional Salary (SMI) and what is usually paid in the sector.

Also, it states that the ‘riders’ will not be able to work more than nine hours a day and they will have 30 days of vacation per year, of which at least 15 must be taken between the months of June and August.

The agreement also states that the company must provide all the necessary means of protection to guarantee the safety of the employee and for the performance of his work, although the sporadic possibility of the ‘rider’ using his own means is included, for which he must be compensated.

Along these lines, Just Eat will also give workers a mobile phone for each worker, to avoid invading their privacy as occurs when using personal devices. In addition, it includes a private insurance with a coverage of between 40,000 and 60,00 euros.

On the other hand, it establishes work organization mechanisms that are compatible with high volatility and limited predictability of the volume of activity carried out by digital platforms.

The text will be applicable throughout the national territory for workers hired by the company itself or through ETT (thus ruling out those who are part of other logistics companies) and It will come into effect next January.

Innovation and social protection

Patrik Bergareche, general director of Just Eat in Spain, has remarked that the document strikes a balance between innovation and social protection and he has pointed out that in the company they aspire that this agreement for a future collective agreement “be the precedent of a future sectoral agreement”.

For his part, Chema Martínez, general secretary of CCOO Services, stressed that this agreement shows that the search for profitability “is compatible with respect for labor rights” and he has been optimistic that finally the rest of the companies in the sector will take this same path.

Thus, it has indicated that they have already held talks with other companies or platforms in the same sector, but that they have not been successful because there is “a lot of reticence” to the recognition of labor, that for trade union formation is basic.

In this line, Álvaro Vicioso Alfaro, secretary of Union Action and Communication of the FeSMC-UGT, this agreement is “a good start” because it manages to eradicate the precariousness that existed, both in terms of conditions and wages, and allows define “the foundations of an architecture of rights and duties on which we will have to continue building”.