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Cellnex buying Arqiva's telecom unit; Thoma Bravo to acquire cybersecurity firm

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Cellnex buying Arqiva's telecom unit; Thoma Bravo to acquire cybersecurity firm

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Oct. 7 to Oct. 13.


* Cellnex Telecom SA will acquire the telecom division of British communications infrastructure operator Arqiva Group Ltd. for about £2 billion, the companies said Oct. 8. The transaction includes masts and towers housed in about 7,400 mobile network sites, as well as the rights to market about 900 more sites across the U.K. In addition, Cellnex Telecom will gain concessions to use street infrastructure as locations for telecom sites in 14 London boroughs. Cellnex Telecom and Arqiva's boards approved the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions. Following the deal closing, Arqiva will retain its broadcast infrastructure business and its interests in machine-to-machine data services for the utilities sector.

* Private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC agreed to acquire U.K.-based cybersecurity firm Sophos Group PLC for approximately $3.82 billion. Under the deal, each Sophos shareholder will receive $7.40 in cash for each share. Thoma Bravo will finance the deal through a combination of equity to be invested by funds managed and/or advised by the firm and debt to be provided under an Interim Facilities Agreement arranged by Goldman Sachs Bank USA. The deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2020, subject to relevant competition clearances and regulatory approvals.


* Private markets investor Ardian Holding SAS is acquiring a stake in Germany-based online photography platform Saal Digital Fotoservice GmbH. Previous shareholders Nordwind Capital Erste Industriebeteiligungen GmbH and the Saal family will continue to hold a substantial stake in the business, and have reinvested on a "significant scale."

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said Oct. 9 that it closed the transaction that will enable the company to form an e-commerce joint venture in Russia. The joint venture involves Alibaba's AliExpress Russia business unit as well as internet company Group Ltd., mobile operator MegaFon and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The companies aim to create a one-stop platform for e-commerce, social media and gaming activities. In addition, the joint venture and Group are expected to enter into a strategic cooperation agreement, under which the joint venture will promote its services on the internet company's platforms.

* U.K. digital advertising and marketing services company S4 Capital PLC agreed to merge its Dutch digital content unit MediaMonks BV with digital marketing agency Firewood Marketing Inc. for $150 million in a cash-and-stock transaction. The price includes a cash payment of $77.5 million, with the remaining $72.5 million to be paid in new ordinary shares. The share issuance is subject to approval by S4 Capital shareholders in an Oct. 24 meeting.


* Accenture PLC, through Accenture Interactive, agreed to acquire French data marketing company Sutter Mills SAS. The deal, which will allow Accenture Interactive to leverage data for innovative marketing strategies, is subject to customary closing conditions.

* Connect Bidco Ltd.'s proposed $3.4 billion acquisition of satellite operator Inmarsat PLC is anticipated to secure approval from the U.K. government following an initial finding from the country's Competition and Markets Authority that determined the deal should not result in "a substantial lessening of competition." In a statement with the publication of the CMA's report, U.K. Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nicky Morgan said she proposes to accept statutory undertakings set out by the two companies in relation to the deal. In a draft document published Oct. 9, Connect Bidco and Inmarsat sought to provide assurances that sensitive information will remain protected to ensure the continued supply of key services used by the Ministry of Defence. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport set an Oct. 24 deadline for final consultation on the deal.

* IQE PLC is acquiring the stakes held by its partners in its loss-making Singaporean joint venture CSDC Pte. Ltd. for a nominal fee. The British chipmaker, through its unit MBE Technology Pte. Ltd., owns 51% of CSDC. It will buy out the shareholdings of Taiwan's WIN Semiconductors Corp., Nanyang Technological University and individuals connected to NanYang University, which own stakes of 25%, 18% and 6%, respectively.

* GED Iberian Private Equity SA SGEIC agreed to sell its stake in Spanish telecom company Telecom Castilla-La Mancha SA to European infrastructure fund manager Equitix Ltd. The transaction is expected to close upon receipt of antitrust clearance and other conditions. Upon closing, Equitix will control 55% of Telecom Castilla. GED owns its stake in Telecom Castilla through the Ahorro Corporación Infraestructuras fund.

* Dialog Semiconductor PLC agreed to acquire CREATIVE CHIPS GmbH, a Germany-based chip supplier for the industrial internet of things sector. The British chipmaker agreed to purchase Creative Chips for about $80 million in cash, plus an additional consideration of up to $23 million, subject to the latter meeting revenue targets in 2020 and 2021. The acquisition will include Creative Chips' product portfolio and relevant chipmaking technologies. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

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