Uni calls report of studio sale to Euros 'nonsensical'


Universal Studios has dismissed reports as "nonsensical" that Italian broadcaster Mediaset and Paris-based Quinta Communications are on the verge of a blockbuster deal that could involve a takeover of the studio.

The reported deal — which would reunite longtime allies Silvio Berlusconi from Mediaset and Quinta's Tarak Ben Ammar — was set to be announced Wednesday in Cannes, according to the Milan-based financial daily Finanza Mercati.

Universal Studios spokeswoman Cindy Gardner said: "There is no truth to the story. It's nonsensical." A spokesman for parent company NBC Uni in New York also said the report was "not true."

Asked to confirm the deal, a spokesman for Mediaset would say only, "Wait for May 21."

And Ben Ammar said, "We are making an announcement on Wednesday, but it has nothing to do with studios." He did not rule out that the announcement would involve American interests.

Carl DiOrio Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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