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European deals through Jan. 20: Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson

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


* Microsoft Corp. acquired Swedish automatic 3D data optimization solutions developer Simplygon, according to a Jan. 17 company blog post. The acquisition will help Microsoft in 3D creation. Simplygon assists creators and users of 3D data across industries in optimizing content pipelines and streamlining workflows.

M&A Media

* The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets approved Belgian media company Mediahuis' proposed acquisition of Concentra Media Nederland, De Redactie reported Jan. 20. The ACM concluded that enough competition would remain in the market after the takeover of Concentra, which owns Dutch newspapers De Limburger and Limburgs Dagblad.

* Dutch media mogul John de Mol increased his share in Telegraaf Media Groep NV to 20.15%, reported Jan. 19, citing data from the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets. Mediahuis and the Van Puijenbroek family together want to acquire TMG, but De Mol's equity management fund earlier released statements criticizing the takeover offer.

* De Mol earlier acquired an 18.41% stake in Telegraaf Media Group, Het Financieele Dagblad reported Jan. 17. The TMG shares come from investment firm Dasym, in which De Mol is an investor.

* Tele München Fernseh GmbH & Co. KG increased its stake in independent movie production company Odeon Film AG to 85.23% from 43.30%, according to a Jan. 18 news release.

* Content delivery solutions provider Viaccess-Orca said Jan. 17 that it acquired Finnish software company BigHill, which develops mobile apps for TV content. BigHill has been developing mobile TV apps for Viaccess-Orca's parent Orange SA since 2009.

* Schibsted ASA subsidiary Schibsted Spain acquired Spain-based real estate portal, which specializes in Mediterranean property markets, according to a Jan. 16 news release. Schibsted Spain already owns Spanish real estate website

M&A Communications

* Germany's Federal Cartel Office gave the go-ahead for Deutsche Telekom AG to sell its e-reading platform Tolino to Japanese company Rakuten Inc., Handelsblatt reported Jan. 20.

* Tata Communications Ltd. unit Tata Communications (Netherlands) BV acquired a 35% stake in Dutch mobile virtual network enabler Teleena Holding BV, according to a Jan. 20 announcement to the Bombay Stock Exchange. The transaction is in line with Tata Communications' strategy to develop its global mobility and Internet of Things-based services.

* Skandia AB invested 100 million Swedish kronor to acquire a 2% stake in lifestyle app maker Virgin Pulse, Di Digital reported Jan. 19. Owned by the Virgin Group, Virgin Pulse produces a wearable fitness and wellbeing app.

* ER-Telecom gained approval from Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service to acquire Novosibirsk-based operator Novotelecom, Telecompaper reported Jan. 19. The deal is estimated to be worth up to 1.6 billion Russian rubles.

* Russnet co-owner Mikhail Gutseriev bought a 75% stake in Bridge Media Group, Broadband TV News reported Jan. 18, citing Kommersant. Previous Bridge Media co-owners Maksim Dimitrev and Fedor Strizhkov will retain the remaining 25% stake in the company.

* Swedish industrial group Investor AB bought 21 million class B shares in Ericsson AB in the fourth quarter of 2016, Dagens Industri reported Jan. 17. The stock purchase, costing about 1 billion Swedish kronor, is equal to 0.6% of Ericsson's shares.

* Telia Co. AB said Jan. 17 that tax issues will delay the sale of its 60% stake in mobile operator Tcell to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. Tcell lodged an appeal against a tax claim worth 178 million Swedish kronor by Tajikistani authorities, saying the claim has no merit.