Shares in Mediaset climbed after French business publication La Lettre de l’Expansion said the Canal+ owner was “actively looking” at a purchase of Mediaset.

It said the 78 year-old former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi would then focus on his publishing interests.

Last week it was announced his son Pier Silvio Berlusconi, 46, would replace Giuliano Adreani. Berlusconi has been Mediaset’s deputy chairman since 2000.

It also emerged Mediaset had rejected an offer from Sky for the terrestrial business Mediaset Premium.