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Vodafone selling New Zealand unit; Millicom completes Telefónica unit purchase

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from May 13 to May 17.


* Vodafone Group PLC agreed to sell its subsidiary, Vodafone New Zealand Ltd., to a consortium comprised of New Zealand-based infrastructure investment company Infratil Ltd. and Canada-based asset management company Brookfield Asset Management Inc. for NZ$3.4 billion. Upon completion of the deal, Vodafone Group and Vodafone New Zealand will enter into a partner market agreement, which will include use of the Vodafone brand, preferential roaming arrangements, access to Vodafone's global internet of things platform and central procurement function, and a range of services for the business and consumer markets. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, while the deal is expected to complete during Vodafone's 2020 financial year.

* Millicom International Cellular SA said May 16 that it completed the acquisition of Telefónica SA unit Telefonía Celular de Nicaragua SA. The acquisition will add about 4 million mobile customers to the cable-focused operation of Millicom unit TIGO Nicaragua, in line with Millicom's fixed-mobile convergence strategy. The purchase is the first transaction to close as part of Millicom's agreement to buy Telefónica's operations in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua for about $1.65 billion in cash.

M&A media

* Spanish broadcaster Mediapro acquired Visyon, a Barcelona-based virtual reality technology company, Digital TV Europe reported. Mediapro and Visyon have been jointly developing VR content for major sports and entertainment clients since 2014. Meanwhile, Mediapro acquired the remaining 50% stake it did not already hold in Fandroid, which owns esports league LVP, for €22 million, Advanced Television reported. Mediapro's takeover of Fandroid follows the recent launch of its esports-themed streaming service Ubeat, in line with the acquisition of rights to several esports events.

* Panoramic Growth Equity (Fund Management) LLP, an equity investor in fast-growth entrepreneurial companies, said its portfolio company Quill Content Ltd. was bought by French media group Webedia SA. The acquisition will merge both companies' networks of freelance content creators, expanding the network to more than 7,000 creatives worldwide. It will also expedite London-based Quill's expansion across the globe through Webedia's existing presence in France and other countries.

* Blackstone Group LP and Hellman & Friedman LLC failed to secure at least 50% plus one share of Scout24 AG through their takeover offer for the Munich-based car and real estate digital marketplace operator. According to documents filed with German financial authorities, the bidders held about 42.79% of the issued share capital and the existing voting rights of Scout24 as of the end of the tender offer period on May 9. The firms opted not to extend the acceptance period of the offer, and the takeover offer has lapsed.

M&A communications

* Capvis Equity V LP bought a majority stake in Swiss 3D sensor and analytics company Xovis AG from funds advised by financial investor EMERAM Capital Partners GmbH. Capvis Equity V is a fund advised by Swiss private equity firm Capvis AG.

* EQT Partners AB, through its EQT Expansion Capital II fund, agreed to sell Coromatic Group AB to European energy solutions company E.ON SE. Coromatic provides power and data communication security services and solutions to data centers, airports, hospitals, transportation, connected workplaces and other critical facilities in the Nordic region. The deal is set to close in late second or third quarter, pending approval from the relevant authorities.

* ClearCourse Partnership LLP, a group of technology companies that provide software and services to organizations, purchased instaGiv Ltd., Private Equity Wire reported. InstaGiv offers a range of mobile and digital fundraising solutions. ClearCourse is backed by technology-focused private equity firm Aquiline Capital Partners LLC.

* Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin has agreed to acquire European telematics solutions provider Masternaut SAS, according to separate announcements May 16. Masternaut, which mainly operates in France and the U.K., provides onboard telematics solutions to optimize vehicle fleet management and monitoring. The transaction is expected to close within 60 days of the announcement, after which Masternaut will continue to operate under its own brand and as a fully owned subsidiary of Michelin.

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