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Altice Europe to sell stake in Portuguese fiber unit; Apple buys UK tech startup

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

TOP NEWS

* Altice Europe's Portuguese unit MEO agreed to sell a minority equity stake of 49.99% in Altice Portugal FTTH to Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners, for an enterprise value of €4.63 billion. The equity partnership with the Morgan Stanley-backed fund will make way for creating a nationwide fiber wholesaler in Portugal. Following the deal, MEO will sell technical services to Altice Portugal FTTH for the construction, subscriber connection and maintenance of its fiber network. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

* Apple Inc. acquired U.K.-based startup Spectral Edge Ltd., which develops technology to improve pictures taken on smartphones, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 12, citing regulatory filings. Apple corporate lawyer Peter Denwood was named a director of Spectral Edge.

Media

* Banijay Rights Ltd. acquired Funwood Media to boost its distribution, production and licensing capabilities across Europe. The transaction also includes Funwood Media Italia Srl and Funwood Media Ibérica. Banijay Group SAS owns U.K.-based Banijay Rights.

* Belgian publisher DPG Media NV agreed to acquire Sanoma Oyj unit Sanoma Media Netherlands BV for an enterprise value of €460 million. Sanoma will use the deal's proceeds to pay down its debt. The transaction is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2020 at the latest. It is subject to approval by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, as well as the completion of a works council consultation.

* KKR & Co. Inc. closed its public tender offer for German media company Axel Springer SE, after getting the final outstanding regulatory clearance for the transaction. The closing of the tender offer allows Axel Springer to implement its strategic partnership with KKR. The private equity firm secured 44.28% of Axel Springer's share capital and the voting rights from the offer and additional market purchases made through and outside the stock exchange.

* Sony Corp. unit Sony Pictures Television Inc. acquired Silvergate Media Ltd., which develops, produces and licenses children's animation, from Silvergate's management team and from private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors LLC. Under the deal, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., through a wholly owned subsidiary, acquired 100% of Silvergate Topco Ltd., whose assets include Silvergate's 49% interest in a joint venture with Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. Additionally, Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired a minority stake in Silvergate BP Bidco Ltd., which produces the "Peter Rabbit" television series and will continue to be majority-owned by Silvergate CEO Waheed Alli. The total purchase price was approximately $195 million.

* Berlin-based video streaming aggregator JustWatch GmbH acquired media search engine GoWatchIt from New York-based Plexus Entertainment LLC, Variety reported.

* Private equity firm EQT Partners AB, through its EQT Expansion Capital II fund, sold cloud-based digital learning management system platform itslearning AS to Sanoma Learning BV. Itslearning's management will remain minority shareholders.

Communications

* Accenture PLC agreed to acquire Chicago-based data consultancy Clarity Insights, which provides data science and artificial intelligence/machine learning engineering capabilities to large enterprises. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust clearance.

* IT company 4iG Nyrt. ended talks with Magyar Telekom for its supposed acquisition of the latter's T-Systems Hungary unit. Following the move, 4iG and Magyar Telekom agreed to cancel the nonbinding heads of terms for the deal. Neither party disclosed further details about terminating the negotiations. Magyar Telekom is a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG.

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