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European deals through April 8: Vivendi, Amazon, Orange, Cablevision


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European deals through April 8: Vivendi, Amazon, Orange, Cablevision

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

M&A Media

*Vivendi SA an agreement with Italy'sMediaset Group tocreate an international over-the-top television delivery platform, according toan April 8 news release. Vivendi will exchange 3.5% of its share capital for3.5% of Mediaset's share capital and 100% of the share capital of pay TVcompany Mediaset Premium. The two companies will also jointly developinitiatives for audiovisual content. The transaction is subject to regulatoryapproval but is expected to close in the coming months. The deal was reportedin early April and was initially denied by Mediaset.

*Vivendi unit Canal Plus SAsaid April 7 that it acquiredMiami-based content distribution company Alterna'TV from unitEutelsat Americas. Alterna'TV distributes Latin American channels to U.S. cableand IPTV operators. Canal Plus made the purchase via its distribution subsidiaryThema, which has an office in North America. The transaction will enable CanalPlus to beef up its presence in the region, with Thema integrating itscommercial activities with those acquired from Alterna'TV. The deal alsoentails a long-term agreement for Canal Plus to lease capacity on Eutelsat's113 West A and 117 West A satellites.

* Inc.boughtartificial-intelligence startup Orbeus Inc. in fall 2015, Bloomberg Newsreported April 5, citing a person with knowledge of the details. The , which Amazon has notannounced, is expected to be part of the company's push into smart software forits cloud-computing and connected-device businesses.

*Canal Plus unit StudioCanalsaid April 4 that it investedin three independent production companies, in a bid to accelerate its developmentin TV production. StudioCanal acquired a 20% stake in Benedict Cumberbatch'sSunnyMarch TV, a 20% stake in "Atlantis" producer Urban Myth Filmsand a 33% stake in Spain-based Bambú Producciones, which is producingNetflix Inc.'s firstSpanish series. Each deal includes a distribution agreement.

M&A Communications

*Orange said April 5that it acquired anequity stake worth €75 million in Nigerian e-commerce company Africa InternetGroup, whose online businesses operate in 23 African countries. The investmentcomes with a series of strategic partnerships, which will allow Orange to helpAIG-operated websites in boosting their presence across Africa. AIG runs onlinesales platform Jumia, e-commerce marketplace Kaymu, food delivery siteHellofood and hotel booking site Jovago, among others. AIG's other investorsinclude AXA, Goldman Sachs, South Africa's MTN Group Ltd., Luxembourg-based andGermany's Rocket Internet AG.

*The New York State Public Service Commission extended the deadline for its decision regardingAltice NV's proposedacquisition ofCablevision Systems Corp.Instead of the original April 29 deadline, the agency is now expected to decideon the deal on May 20, according to an April 4 letter sent to NYPSC SecretaryKathleen Burgess. Meanwhile, Altice said that the new deadline will not delaythe completion of the merger deal, Multichannel News reported April 5. Thetransaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, subject tothe FCC's approval.

*KPN NV unit YesTelecom acquiredrival operator Dekatel, Telecompaper reported April 4. Dekatel uses KPN'snetwork to provide fixed and mobile services. Following the transaction,Dekatel will adopt the Yes Telecom brand, while its customers will continue toreceive the same services. The deal is expected to boost Yes Telecom's presencein the fixed telephony and Internet markets in the Netherlands.