Italian broadcaster Mediaset has announced that it will acquire a 2.48 % stake in its German partner, Kirch Media, underscoring both companies' aim to cement their film buying and production alliance, Epsilon.

Additionally, Mediaset's board of directors approved a plan to increase the group's share in Spain's Telecinco by 5% to 45 %. Along with digging its teeth further into its European partners, Mediaset announced that its net consolidated profits had risen 15 % to almost $1.2 billion in the first six months of 2000. Gross profits were up 19.8%.

The Berlusconi-owned group also said its three broadcasting channels, Rete 4, Canale 5 and Italia 1, had registered a 43.2% audience share for the first semester of the year, a 1.1% rise on 1999 figures for the same period.