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Berlusconi’s Fininvest offloads chunk of Mediaset

Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset’s shares dropped sharply in value at the end of last week on news that Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest holding vehicle had sold a 7.79% stake in the operation, taking Fininvest’s interest down to 33.4%.

Mediaset’s shares were trading this morning at around €3.86-3.88 (US$4.41-4.43) after suffering a further fall, taking the stock below its IPO level of €4.10.

Fininvest realised about €377.2 million on the surprise sale, taking its stake down from 41.29% to 33.4%. The transaction was managed by Merrill Lynch Intnernational and UniCredit Bank of Milan.

The sale comes 10 years after Berlusconi sold a 17% stake in the company for about €2 billion.