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European deals: ITV Studios buys Cattleya; 'Pressure' in Altice's Portugal deal


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European deals: ITV Studios buys Cattleya; 'Pressure' in Altice's Portugal deal

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13.


* ITV Plc-owned ITV Studios Ltd. purchased a majority stake in Italian production company Cattleya Srl, Digital TV Europe reported Oct. 10. Cattleya will keep its creative and production independence, with ITV Studios' distribution business, ITV Global Entertainment, having distribution rights to Cattleya productions where rights are available, according to the report. ITV said the acquisition is part of its objective to meet the demand for European drama on subscription video-on-demand platforms and to expand its international drama business.

* Altice NV observed an "undue and unfounded" pressure from its rivals on Portuguese regulators that are set to rule on its planned acquisition of Media Capital, Reuters reported Oct. 13. Altice's rivals, such as NOS Comunicações SA and Vodafone Group Plc's Vodafone Portugal, had sought to block the deal due to competition and media plurality concerns.

* Portugal's Media Regulatory Authority moved its deadline to Oct. 17 for its decision on Altice's proposed acquisition of Media Capital, Telecompaper reported Oct. 11, citing Lusa. The ruling's postponement is due to doubts on the binding power of the opinion issued on the proposed transaction, according to the report, citing Público.

M&A Media

* NBCUniversal Media LLC's Fandango Media LLC struck a deal to acquire online movie ticketing service, which serves clients in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Latin America, the companies said in an Oct. 13 news release. The acquisition will help Fandango expand its footprint in Latin America and establish a presence in Canada and the U.K. for the first time. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. NBCU is a unit of Comcast Corp.

* Sweden's Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation is linking Google Inc.'s land purchase in the municipality of Avesta to a major future investment in data centers, Di Digital reported Oct. 13. The Alphabet Inc. unit bought about 109 hectares of forest land in Avesta.

* The Spruce House Partnership LP and related entities disclosed beneficial ownership of 2,375,708 shares in Netherlands-based Cimpress NV, representing a 7.6% stake. The investor group acquired the shares for investment purposes, according to an Oct. 10 SEC filing.

* Vivendi SA is proposing compensation to Mediaset SpA to settle the dispute over their thwarted pay-TV partnership, La Tribune reported Oct. 10, citing sources close to the matter. Vivendi would make a first settlement of about €250 million as well as additional unspecified sums.

M&A Communications

* Eutelsat Communications SA said Oct. 13 that it acquired Middle Eastern satellite services provider Noorsat Co. WLL from Orbit Holding Group for about $75 million.

* Romania's Competition Council green-lit Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s planned takeover of several assets and employees from UPC Romania, Romania Insider reported Oct. 13. Huawei will get the services of some of the Liberty Global plc unit's employees and utilize the assets for the maintenance service of fixed communications networks.

* The U.K. Competition and Markets Authority released Oct. 10 a statement outlining how the watchdog intends to approach its probe into 21st Century Fox Inc.'s proposed £11.7 billion takeover of Sky plc on public interest grounds. In particular, the watchdog would investigate whether there would be sufficient plurality of persons post-deal completion, based on how the country's media and telecom regulator Ofcom defined "media plurality." The CMA would also look into how 21st Century Fox, Sky, the Murdoch Family Trust and related company News Corp. ensure their compliance with U.K. broadcasting standards. In response, 21st Century Fox said it is looking forward to working with the CMA in a "thorough and constructive review" of the deal.

* Qualcomm Inc. offered to exclude the acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV's standard essential patents in its takeover offer, in a bid to secure approval from the European Commission for the $38 billion deal, Reuters reported Oct. 10, citing two people familiar with the matter.