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European deals: Cineworld to buy Regal; UK delays Fox/Sky deal verdict


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European deals: Cineworld to buy Regal; UK delays Fox/Sky deal verdict

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Dec. 4 to Dec. 8.


* The U.K.'s Cineworld Group plc agreed to acquire U.S. movie theater operator Regal Entertainment Group for a total transaction value of $5.9 billion, including debt and net of cash, according to a Dec. 5 news release. Under the deal, Regal stockholders will receive $23 in cash for each share of class A and class B common stock at completion. Cineworld will fund the acquisition through about $4 billion of new debt facilities and a $2.3 billion equity raise via a rights issue. The deal, which has been unanimously approved by both companies' boards of directors, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018. It remains subject to regulatory review and shareholder approval.

* Britain's Competition and Markets Authority has pushed back its deadline for presenting its provisional findings on 21st Century Fox Inc.'s proposed acquisition of Sky plc to mid-January 2018. The watchdog also said it is due to submit its final report on the proposed merger to U.K. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley within February or March 2018, with March 6 set as the statutory deadline. The CMA originally intended to reveal its initial findings on the £11.7 billion deal in the week of Dec. 18, Reuters reported Dec. 6. The regulator noted the large number of submissions it had to evaluate in order to "reach an informed and considered provisional view" on the proposed merger.

M&A Media

* Spotify AB and Tencent Holdings Ltd. subsidiary Tencent Music Entertainment Group agreed to buy equity stakes in each other, the companies said Dec. 8. Tencent Music Entertainment and Spotify will buy new shares representing minority equity stakes in each other for cash. Tencent will also invest in Spotify through secondary purchases. Following these transactions, Spotify will hold a minority stake in Tencent Music Entertainment, and both Tencent and Tencent Music Entertainment will hold minority stakes in Spotify.

M&A Communications

* The Idea Cellular Ltd.-Vodafone India merger will likely close around March 2018 to April 2018, six months before the September 2018 timeline recently suggested by Vodafone Group Plc CEO Vittorio Colao, India's The Economic Times reported Dec. 6, citing a note by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its meeting with the Idea Cellular leadership. The merger reportedly is still awaiting approvals from India's courts and the telecom department. The deal received approval from the Competition Commission of India in July and a conditional approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India in August.

* Cyfrowy Polsat SA said Dec. 4 that it submitted purchase orders to acquire a combined block of about 32% of shares in Netia SA from its two major shareholders for about 638.8 million Polish zlotys. Cyfrowy Polsat will also announce a tender offer for another block of about 33% of shares to obtain a stake of no more than 66% of the total number of votes at the general meeting of Netia. The acquisition will be funded through a combination of its own funds and a revolving loan.