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European deals: Publicis buys Kindred Group; Cimpress completes BuildASign buy

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Oct. 1 to Oct. 6.


* Comcast Corp. on Oct. 5 closed the issuance and sale of a $27 billion offering of floating-rate notes and fixed-rate notes to finance its acquisition of Sky PLC. The notes are guaranteed on an unsecured and unsubordinated basis by Comcast Cable Communications LLC and NBCUniversal Media LLC. Comcast will use net proceeds from the notes, which are being offered in 12 tranches, and net proceeds from loans under its term loan facilities, to finance the acquisition of ordinary Sky shares from the pay TV company's shareholders, according to an Oct. 3 filing. Investors' orders for the sale have reached $88 billion, which led the U.S. cable company to increase the size of its bond to $27 billion from the original borrowing of $20 billion, London's Financial Times reported Oct. 2, citing sources.

* Comcast unit Comcast Bidco Ltd. on Oct. 3 agreed to acquire the about 39.12% of Sky shares held by 21st Century Fox Inc. or its affiliates. The transaction, which is expected to be completed Oct. 9, will bring Comcast's Sky ownership to about 75%. The 39.12% stake represents 672,783,139 Sky shares, which Comcast is acquiring at £17.28 per share, according to an Oct. 4 statement. Walt Disney Co. earlier announced it will allow Fox to tender or sell its 39% stake in the British pay TV operator, after Disney and Fox lost in a bid to Comcast.

M&A media

* French advertising company Publicis Groupe SA has acquired Czech Republic-based digital communications company Kindred Group. The company said Kindred Group's agencies will be integrated into its agency portfolio in the Czech Republic.

* DHX Media Ltd.-owned entertainment, sport and brand licensing agency CPLG agreed to buy a 49% stake in Pullman Licensing LLC, a Russian licensing agency owned by Igor Kuleshov, president and owner of Gulliver Holdings. CPLG and Pullman are expected to team up for overall management and operations of the new venture, to be called CPLG Pullman. The deal is expected to complete on or about Oct. 30, subject to customary closing conditions and the execution of certain ancillary agreements.

* Cimpress NV has closed the acquisition of BuildASign from PWP Growth Equity, the middle-market private equity group of Perella Weinberg Partners Capital Management LP, for about $280 million in cash. The sale of BuildASign, a vertically integrated U.S. web-to-print canvas wall decor and signage company, is the second exit from PWP Growth Equity's Fund I.

M&A communications

* Upland Software Inc., a provider of cloud-based enterprise work management software, bought Rant & Rave Ltd., a cloud-based customer engagement service provider located in Coventry. The purchase price paid for Rant & Rave was $58.5 million in cash at closing, net of cash acquired, and a $6.5 million cash holdback payable in 12 months, according to an Oct. 3 news release.

* Cloud-services platform operator Pareteum Corp. on Oct. 1 completed the acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of enterprise software developer Artilium PLC. The acquisition was effected by means of a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement between Artilium and shareholders of Artilium under Part 26 of the U.K. Companies Act 2006, the company said in a Form 8-K filed Oct. 2.

* French IT services provider Atos SE said Syntel Inc. shareholders approved its $3.57 billion acquisition of the U.S. data processing and digital services company at a special meeting held Oct. 1. The deal is now expected to close before mid-October.

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