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Wanda's AMC Entertainment to acquire Nordic Cinema Group

In this monthly Best of Nordics feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent market developments in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

TOP NEWS

* AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. said Jan. 23 that it agreed to buy Stockholm-based Nordic Cinema Group Holding AB from European private equity company Bridgepoint and Swedish media group Bonnier AB for 8.25 billion Swedish kronor, or $929 million. The boards of AMC and Nordic's ownership group have approved the deal, which is expected to be completed before June 30, and is conditional upon antitrust clearance by the European Commission. Nordic will operate as a subsidiary of AMC's Odeon unit. Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. owns AMC Entertainment.

M&A

* Telia Co. AB is considering a bid for Denmark's TDC A/S, Reuters reported Jan. 19, citing Dagens Industri. In case an agreement pushes through, Telia would likely finance the deal via a share-rights issue.

* Microsoft Corp. acquired Swedish automatic 3D data optimization solutions developer Simplygon, according to a Jan. 17 company blog post. Simplygon assists creators and users of 3D data across industries in optimizing content pipelines and streamlining workflows.

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. acquired Sweden-based Limes Audio AB, which makes technology to make voice communication systems sound better, according to a Jan. 5 blog post.

* Google is looking to acquire Swedish-founded music streaming service SoundCloud for about $500 million, Music Business Worldwide reported Jan. 3, citing "high-level rumors."

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. is in negotiations with Telenor ASA to acquire the latter's Indian operations for $350 million, The Economic Times (India) reported Jan. 2, citing ET Now.

* Facebook Inc. unit Oculus VR Inc. acquired Copenhagen-based startup The Eye Tribe, TechCrunch reported Dec. 28, 2016. The Eye Tribe has developed power-saving technology for VR systems.

INTERNET, OTT AND MOBILE

* Tele2 AB said Jan. 18 that it agreed to provide network and services to Vodafone Group Plc's clients in Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania. Tele2 will also be acting as key account manager for Vodafone's clients that are based or have an office in these locations.

* Apple Inc. executive Jimmy Iovine confirmed news that the tech giant was planning to offer original scripted content on Apple Music, The Hollywood Reporter reported Jan. 14. The move could allow the iPhone maker to better compete with its rivals such as Spotify Ltd. and Pandora Media Inc.

* Verizon Communications Inc. said Jan. 11 that it completed the interoperability test of a key fiber optics infrastructure technology. ADTRAN, Broadcom, Cortina Access and Ericsson AB, in partnership with Calix, participated in the trial.

* Singtel said Jan. 11 that it launched ts 4G LTE-Advanced mobile network across the city-state. The telco also conducted a live 4G network trial with Ericsson in Singapore.

* AT&T Inc., Qualcomm Inc.-owned Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and Ericsson agreed to collaborate on an interoperability test and over-the-air field trials based on the expected 5G New Radio specifications being developed by 3GPP, according to a Jan. 3 news release.

CONTENT, CARRIAGE AND LICENSING DEALS

* Discovery Communications Inc. cut a deal with TDC to provide Danish YouSee A/S subscribers access to several Discovery channels, as well as access to Discovery content through their mobile devices, according to a Jan. 19 news release.

* Norway's Get AS and Discovery Networks Norway inked a long-term agreement for Discovery content, Broadband TV News reported Jan. 17. The deal will give Get customers access to the content on any device, inside and outside their homes.

OTHER NEWS

* Facebook will construct a data center in Odense, Denmark, Reuters reported Jan. 19. The facility will be the social networking giant's third data center outside the U.S.