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European deals through June 10: Qualcomm, Vivendi, Telenor

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


* The European Commission said June 9 that it launched an in-depth probe into Qualcomm Inc.'s proposed takeover of chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV. The commission raised concerns that the deal would, among others, hinder competition in the chipsets market by allowing the merged entity to exclude rival suppliers through bundling or tying practices.

* Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Italian broadcaster Mediaset SpA and France's TF1 Group have agreed to form the European Broadcaster Exchange, a joint venture aimed at providing a trading platform for digital video advertising campaigns across Europe. ProSiebenSat.1, Mediaset and TF1 will hold equal shares in EBX, which will have its offices in London, ProSiebenSat.1 said June 9. The joint venture deal still needs to be approved by European competition regulators.

M&A Media

* Talpa Holding said June 10 that it withdrew its request to the Dutch Enterprise Division to conduct an investigation into the policy and conduct of Telegraaf Media Groep NV. Despite the withdrawal, Talpa is still planning to continue its public takeover bid of €6.50 per share on TMG.

* Dataplace, part of Eurofiber Group, said June 8 that it took over 100% of the shares of Datacenter Arnhem. The acquisition means that Dataplace now owns three data centers in the Netherlands.

* ZDF Enterprises, the commercial unit of German broadcaster ZDF (DE), said June 6 that it is taking a 32.5% stake in British independent production company World Media Rights via the latter's holding company European Media Rights Ltd. The transaction is subject to approval by Germany's Federal Cartel Office.

* Vivendi SA said June 6 that it agreed to purchase the Bolloré Group's 60% majority stake in Havas Group for €9.25 per share. The transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities.

M&A Communications

* German internet company United Internet AG said June 9 that the German Federal Cartel Office approved its planned deal with telecom company Drillisch AG. Drillisch will take over the mobile and fixed-network businesses of United Internet unit 1&1 Telecommunications SE, in exchange for United Internet increasing its stake in Drillisch to 72.7%.

* Handelsbanken Fonder, owned by Swedish bank Handelsbanken, has become a major shareholder in myFC Holding AB, myFC said June 9. MyFC produces micro fuel cells and chargers for smartphones and tablets.

* Tech-focused investment group Kinnevik AB will divest all shares in Rocket Internet SE, Kinnevik said June 8. Kinnevik will target its 10.9 million shares, equivalent to 6.6% of Rocket's issued share capital, at institutional investors.

* Brightfolk A/S bought a "strategic" equity holding in Swedish digital payments firm Klarna AB, according to a June 7 statement. Brightfolk is owned by Danish fashion retailing investor Anders Holch Povlsen, who also owns shares in e-retailers Zalando SE and Asos.

* Fingerprint Cards AB finalized the acquisition of California-based iris recognition technology specialist Delta ID Inc., according to a June 7 statement.

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. said June 6 that the Competition Commission of India approved its proposed merger with Telenor ASA unit Telenor India. The two companies also filed a joint application before the National Company Law Tribunal for approval of their merger, The Economic Times (India) reported the same day.

* Swedish-based AINMT Holding AB is expanding its geographic footprint beyond Europe and Asia with a new investment in NII Holdings Inc.'s Nextel Holdings Sàrl, which operates mobile telco Nextel Brazil, according to a June 6 news release. AINMT plans to invest $50 million for an initial 30% stake in the Brazilian mobile operator, with an option to increase its stake to a controlling 60% with an additional $150 million investment in Nextel. The closing is contingent upon shareholder and regulatory approvals, as well as other customary conditions.

* Symantec Corp. purchased Portuguese tech company Watchful Software from Critical Software, Telecompaper reported June 6, citing news agency Lusa. Watchful will become part of Symantec's data loss prevention group following the deal.