EI Towers SpA, a broadcasting tower company controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset SpA, is being probed for possible market abuse during its $1.4 billion bid for state-controlled competitor RAI Way SpA, the company confirmed in a stock-exchange statement.
The EI Towers board of directors is under investigation for allegedly promoting its bid even after RAI Way rejected the takeover offer, the company said.
The company reiterated it acted with “full correctness” after Italy’s finance police searched its offices near Milan on Tuesday, seizing documents relating to the offer, according to the statement.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government rejected the February bid as it considers the state-controlled competitor strategic. EI Towers then revised its offer, lowering the amount of stock sought, before withdrawing the bid on April 17 after market regulator Consob asked it to suspend the transaction.
Spokesmen for Mediaset and EI Towers as well as the Milan prosecutor handling the case declined to comment.
EI Towers shares fell 2.45 percent today in Milan trading, giving it a market value of 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion).