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MGM reaches EPIX takeover deal; Liberty Interactive to buy General Communication

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. media and communications deal announcements and completions from April 3 to April 7.

* Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. struck a deal to acquire full ownership of premium pay TV channel EPIX (US). MGM, which already owns a 19.0% stake in EPIX, will pay $1.03 billion for the interests held in the network by Viacom Inc., Paramount and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. The deal values EPIX at roughly $1.28 billion, including $75 million of distributions to the partners. Viacom and Lionsgate own 49.76% and 31.15% equity interests, respectively. The transaction is expected to close this month, subject to regulatory approval.

* Yelp Inc. acquired the outstanding capital stock of Toronto-based Wi-Fi marketing company Turnstyle Analytics for about $20 million in cash, in a bid to strengthen its offering for local businesses. Founded in 2012, Turnstyle is a location-based marketing and analytics platform that provides Wi-Fi as a digital marketing tool to retain and reward customers. It serves about 3,500 business locations worldwide. Yelp plans to combine Turnstyle's data with Yelp's online and mobile search data to "deliver a comprehensive intent-based marketing resource to local businesses."

* Liberty Interactive Corp. plans to buy telecommunications provider General Communication Inc., merge GCI with unit Liberty Ventures Group, and spin off the merged entity as a new company to be called GCI Liberty. To accomplish the transaction, certain assets and liabilities of Liberty Ventures Group will be contributed to GCI in exchange for a controlling stake in the Alaska-based telecom operator. Liberty Interactive will then effect a tax-free separation of its controlling interest in the combined company, GCI Liberty, to the holders of Liberty Ventures' common stock. Liberty Interactive will contribute its equity interests in Liberty Broadband, Charter, LendingTree Inc., as well as its Evite operating business and certain other assets and liabilities, to acquire a 77% undiluted equity stake and 84% undiluted voting stake in GCI Liberty. Upon completion of the transaction, former GCI shareholders will own 23% of the undiluted equity and 16% of the undiluted voting power of GCI Liberty, and former Liberty Ventures shareholders will own the remaining equity and voting interests in GCI Liberty. As a result of the spinoff, QVC Group will become an asset-backed stock, and Liberty Interactive is expected to be renamed QVC Group Inc. Under the transaction, GCI shareholders will receive $32.50 per share, comprised of $27.50 per share in GCI Liberty class A common stock and $5 in newly issued series A preferred shares. The transaction represents an undiluted enterprise value for GCI of $2.68 billion and undiluted equity value of $1.12 billion.

* Meetme Inc. closed its $60.0 million acquisition of social and mobile technology company Ifwe Inc. Following the acquisition, MeetMe changed its name to The Meet Group Inc., effective April 3. The Meet Group will be the parent company of the MeetMe, Skout, Tagged and Hi5 brands. The company also plans to pursue further future acquisitions under the new name. Through the Ifwe acquisition, The Meet Group plans to expand its global offerings of branded apps for meeting new people. The acquisition is expected to contribute $9 million of adjusted EBITDA in the first 12 months after its closure. The deal is also expected to provide the combined company with a way to generate $150 million in annualized revenue and $50 million of adjusted EBITDA.