Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset has announced the creation of a new Netherlands-based holding company and confirmed its intention to set up a pan-European television hub. The corporate overhaul sees the merger of Mediaset SpA and Mediaset Spain into a new holding company called MediaforEurope (MFE), based in the Netherlands, with its tax base in Italy and listed on both the Italian and Spanish stock exchanges. MFE will control 100 percent of Mediaset SpA and Mediaset Spain as well as the recently acquired 9.6 percent stake in German broadcaster ProSiebenSat1, resulting in a combined audience of 107 million viewers.

Mediaset said the choice of the Netherlands as legal base is purely technical, based on the fact that Dutch rules permit ďa level of governance able to facilitate stability in the shareholder structure and managerial certainty, while at the same time ensuring greater flexibility to pursue opportunities for growth and development." In a statement announcing the move, Mediaset CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi said: "We have identified a new operational model that will generate efficiencies and development," adding that "today, in a context of global competition, the creation of an editorial group of adequate scale to reach a European audience is a crucial factor for the future."

The Italian media giant also confirmed that the operational activities of both companies will remain in Italy and Spain, as will their respective fiscal bases, ensuring that it continues to pay taxes in the two countries. Mediaset said the move would create an annual EUR 107 million in synergies and savings by 2023 and that by the end of 2019, MFE would pay EUR 100 million in dividends and buy back up to EUR 280 million in shares. Mediaset and Mediaset Spain shareholders will vote on the plan on 04 September and the merger should become effective by Q4 2019.