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European deals through Aug. 11: Facebook, Netflix, Vodafone

The European edition of M&A Replay presents a weekly wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates.


* The proposed merger between Vodafone Group Plc unit Vodafone India and Idea Cellular Ltd. received conditional approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, The Economic Times (India) reported Aug. 8. Sebi noted that Idea Cellular agreed to comply with the condition that the company will not dispose of shares purchased by its promoters before the merger announcement. Prior to the most recent approval, the proposed deal was earlier greenlit by the Competition Commission of India and is also subject to approvals from public shareholders and the National Company Law Tribunal, or NCLT.

M&A Media

* Facebook Inc. acquired German software startup fayteq, reported Aug. 11. Fayteq developed a software plugin that can add, manipulate or remove objects from videos. Facebook could use the technology as part of its push into video and augmented reality, Business Insider reported the same day.

* Russian search engine Yandex LLC and PAO Sberbank of Russia inked a nonbinding term sheet to create an e-commerce joint venture on the Yandex.Market platform, the companies said Aug. 9. Sberbank will invest 30 billion Russian rubles into Yandex.Market, valuing the latter at 60 billion rubles. Yandex and Sberbank will own equal stakes in the joint venture, with up to 10% of the venture's shares to be set aside for an equity incentive program for Yandex.Market's management and employees. The transaction is still subject to setting of the terms in definitive documents and the completion of Sberbank's due diligence. Once the definitive documents are signed, the deal is expected to close by the end of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals in Russia.

* Netflix Inc. bought Millarworld, a comic book publishing company founded by Mark Millar, in its first-ever acquisition, the company said Aug. 7. As part of the deal, the streaming giant will work with Millar to use Millarworld's portfolio of character franchises for films, series and kids' shows that will be available exclusively to Netflix members globally. Millarworld will also continue to create and publish new stories and character franchises under the Netflix label.

M&A Communications

* Altice NV struck several deals to ensure the ownership of 95.9% of the share capital and voting rights of SFR Group SA, according to an Aug. 10 news release. Altice plans to acquire SFR Group's shares through exchanges against Altice's series A common shares. Further, Altice plans to file in September with French financial market watchdog AMF, for a buyout offer followed by a squeeze-out at a price of €34.50 per SFR Group share.