Mediaset makes U.S. gambit with CaribeVision

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ROME -- Italian broadcast giant Mediaset is making its first significant foray into the U.S. market by taking a $32 million stake in Spanish-language broadcaster CaribeVision, which broadcasts to the East Coast out of Miami, New York, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Telecinco, Mediaset's Spanish-language subsidiary in Spain, will hold the stake. Mediaset's main partner in the venture will be Mexico's Burillo-Azcarraga family, owners of the world's leading Spanish-language content producer, Televisa. With its investment, Mediaset will indirectly control 28.3% of CaribeVision.

Faced with the prospect of limited growth within Italy as a result of the country's media reform initiatives, Mediaset has been working to diversify its business interests outside the country.

In addition to Telecinco, the Milan, Italy-based broadcaster has significant foreign holdings including Dutch reality television producer Endemol, which it acquired last year. Additionally, the company has been reported to be looking for other acquisitions outside Italy in recent months.
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