MILAN (Reuters) – Shares in ProSiebenSat.1 and Mediaset rose on Wednesday after the chairman of the Italian broadcaster said the company was still studying a possible cross-border deal.
Mediaset’s top executives have repeatedly floated the idea of creating a pan-European TV player to fend off competition from established rivals and online content providers such as Netflix.
Germany’s ProSiebenSat 1 Media has been mentioned as a possible partner for Italy’s biggest commercial broadcaster which is owned by the family of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
In answer to a question on whether Mediaset could tie up with “the Germans”, Mediaset Chairman Fedele Confalonieri said a cross-border deal was still being studied.
“It’s not just up to us,” he added however.
Traders on Wednesday said the comments had revived merger speculation, adding ProSiebenSat.1 could become a takeover candidate given its shares are trading near a seven-year low.
The German broadcaster denied in September it was discussing a cross-border European merger and was instead focusing on developing its own business.
ProSieben shares were 3.7 percent higher by 0830 GMT while Mediaset gained 2.9 percent.
(Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia, editing by Keith Weir)