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Vodafone completes Liberty Global assets purchase, closes New Zealand unit sale

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from July 29 to Aug. 2.


* Vodafone Group PLC completed the acquisition of Liberty Global PLC's cable assets in Germany, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic for approximately €19.0 billion on a U.S. GAAP basis. Liberty Global received net cash proceeds of about €10.1 billion. Vodafone Group in May 2018 agreed to acquire these assets from Liberty Global. The European Commission recently approved the deal conditionally after Vodafone offered several concessions to ease regulatory concerns.

* In more, Vodafone M&A news, the company completed the NZ$3.4 billion sale of its unit Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. to a consortium composed of infrastructure investment company Infratil Ltd. and Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Vodafone will use the sale proceeds to pay down its net debt. Following the deal's close, Vodafone Group and Vodafone New Zealand struck an agreement, which includes the use of the Vodafone brand, preferential roaming arrangements, access to Vodafone's global internet of things platform and central procurement function, as well as various services for the business and consumer markets.

M&A media

* ITV PLC unit ITV Studios Ltd. agreed to acquire Israeli content distributor Armoza Formats. The Tel Aviv-based team will continue to develop new formats and also work with ITV Studios' producers. Under the deal, ITV Studios will also exclusively produce all newly developed Armoza formats.

* KKR & Co. Inc. is close to completing its buyout of minorities in German media and technology company Axel Springer SE after exceeding the minimum offer acceptance threshold of 20%. Axel Springer shareholders who did not tender by the Aug. 2 deadline can still accept the offer during the mandatory additional acceptance period, which will run for 14 days and begin after the offer results are announced. The offer's results are expected to be published Aug. 7. Investment firm KKR, through holding company Traviata II SARL, offered to purchase 54.6% of Axel Springer's share capital at €63 per share. The deal remains subject to several merger control, foreign investment and media concentration clearances.

M&A communications

* Eurazeo SE is acquiring cloud-based digital supply network Elemica Inc. alongside its management team from Thoma Bravo LLC in a deal set to be completed in the third quarter. The private equity firm and its affiliates will also invest approximately $250 million into the company, subject to various adjustments.

* Inc. completed its $15.7 billion all-stock acquisition of data analytics company Tableau Software Inc. However, the two companies will remain operationally separate until the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority completes its recently launched review of the transaction, according to Salesforce.

* Private equity firm Confidus Investment Partners AB is acquiring an equity stake in EvoluteIQ Ltd., a privately held Intelligent Process Automation company. EvoluteIQ will use the investment to further invest in its research and development center in Bangalore, India, enhance its technology platform, and increase sales and delivery operations, according to a July 31 news release.

* Zayo Group Holdings Inc. reported the early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 in connection with the proposed acquisition of the company by affiliates of Digital Colony Partners LP and the Netherlands-based EQT Infrastructure IV fund. The termination of the waiting period under the HSR Act satisfies one of the conditions to the closing of the pending transaction, the company said Aug. 1. Upon closing of the transaction, Zayo shareholders will receive $35 in cash per share of Zayo's common stock in a transaction valued at $14.3 billion, including the assumption of $5.9 billion of Zayo's net debt obligations. The closing of the deal continues to be subject to other conditions, such as regulatory clearances relating to review and clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. and the receipt of certain foreign antitrust approvals, as well as Federal Communications Commission and state public utility commission approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

* EQT Mid Market Asia III agreed to acquire a majority stake in Nexon Asia Pacific Pty. Ltd., a cloud and managed service provider in Australia. Nexon co-founder and CEO Barry Assaf will remain a significant shareholder in the company, according to a July 31 news release. EQT Mid Market Asia III is a fund owned by Sweden-based private equity and venture capital firm EQT Partners AB.

* Sphera Solutions Inc., a provider of integrated risk management software and information services, is acquiring Germany-based software and consulting services company Thinkstep AG. The deal is subject to customary German regulatory approvals.