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Liberty Global selling DTH business; Turkish banks take over Türk Telekom

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Dec. 17 to Dec. 22.

TOP NEWS

* Liberty Global PLC will sell its direct-to-home satellite TV business in eastern Europe to Luxembourg's M7 Group SA for a total enterprise value of about €180 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019, subject to regulatory approval. Liberty Global's direct-to-home operations include the UPC Direct brand in Hungary, the freeSAT brand in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and the FocusSat brand in Romania.

* Turkish banks, including Akbank TAŞ, Türkiye Garanti Bankası AŞ and Türkiye İş Bankası AŞ, took over Turkish telecom provider Türk Telekomünikasyon AŞ after its owner, Otas, a company set up by Oger Telecom Ltd., defaulted on a $4.7 billion syndicated loan it took from 29 banks, Bloomberg News reported. Akbank will hold a 35.6% stake, Turkiye Garanti a 22.1% stake and Turkiye Is an 11.6% stake in the special purpose vehicle that will acquire Otas' 55% stake in the telecom company, the publication reported, citing filings.

M&A media

* CloserStill Media Ltd. shareholders agreed to sell the company to U.S.-based private equity firm Providence Equity Partners LLC. CloserStill runs content-led exhibitions across the U.K., Europe, the U.S. and the Far East.

* Zynga Inc. agreed to buy Finland-based mobile game developer Small Giant Games Ltd. in a cash-and-stock deal worth $560 million. Zynga will acquire 80% of Small Giant for $330 million in cash and $230 million of unregistered Zynga common stock. The transaction, which is expected to close Jan. 1, 2019, is subject to customary closing adjustments.

* Dentsu Inc.'s U.K.-based subsidiary Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd. acquired full-service digital marketing company Digital Evolution Group LLC. DEG will join Dentsu's Isobar to create a new agency called "DEG, Linked by Isobar," according to a Dec. 18 news release.

M&A communications

* Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP completed a minority investment in U.K.-based privately owned cloud hosting provider UKFast.Net Ltd., valuing the company at £405 million. Inflexion-dedicated minority investment fund Partnership Capital made the investment, according to a Dec. 21 news release.

* SSE PLC agreed to sell a 50% share of its SSE Enterprise Telecoms Ltd. business to Infracapital for £380 million, according to a Dec. 21 news release.

* Private equity firm Cinven Ltd. said The Sixth Cinven Fund LP struck a deal to acquire web hosting services provider One.com A/S.

* AB Volvo is selling its 75.1% stake in connected car company WirelessCar AB to Volkswagen AG for 1.1 billion Swedish kronor, according to a Dec. 19 news release. The transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2019, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

* Swisscom AG is buying out media group Tamedia AG's 31% stake in their directory services joint venture Swisscom Directories Ltd., in a transaction valued at about CHF 220 million. The Swiss telecom operator, which owns 69% of the joint venture, is exercising a call option to purchase Tamedia's stake. It will become the sole owner of Swisscom Directories after the deal's completion, expected during the first quarter of 2019.

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