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European deals through Oct. 6: Apple, WPP, Vivendi


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European deals through Oct. 6: Apple, WPP, Vivendi

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


* U.K.-listed WPP Plc will seek to block Bain Capital LP's takeover bid for Japanese advertising company Asatsu-DK Inc., the London Financial Times reported Oct. 2, citing people close to WPP. On Oct. 2, Asatsu-DK asked WPP to terminate their long-standing partnership and sell its stake in the Japanese ad agency. However, WPP is preparing to refuse to sell its 24.96% stake in Asatsu-DK, arguing that Bain's US$1.3 billion tender offer "severely undervalues" Japan's third-biggest agency.

* Earlier Oct. 2, U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital initiated its tender offer to acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of Asatsu-DK from WPP unit WPP International Holding BV and other shareholders for nearly ¥150 billion. Under the terms of the deal approved by Asatsu-DK's board, Bain Capital will acquire 41,623,579 common shares at ¥3,660 per share and series 2 to series 11 stock acquisition rights at ¥1 per stock acquisition right. As a result of the transaction, Asatsu-DK will become private and will be de-listed from Tokyo stock exchange. The tender offer period commenced Oct. 3 and will end Nov. 15, while the settlement of the transaction will start Nov. 22. In the event Bain Capital acquires more than 90% of Asatsu-DK, it will opt for squeeze-out.

M&A Media

* French police raided Vivendi SA's Paris headquarters Oct. 5 in an inquiry into alleged market abuse after it acquired a stake in Mediaset SpA, Reuters reported Oct. 5. A complaint by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi prompted the search, Vivendi said the same day. The media group said its Mediaset stake acquisition was conducted "legally and transparently." Fininvest SpA, the holding company of Berlusconi's family, owns a 39.53% stake in Mediaset.

* Apple Inc. bought French computer vision startup Regaind SAS earlier in 2017, reported Sept. 29, citing multiple sources. Apple said it "buys smaller technology companies from time to time," presumably confirming the deal. Some of the features of Regaind's technology include finding the best picture out of many and hiding duplicates.

M&A Communications

* Equinix Inc. bought the Zenium data center business in Istanbul in an all-cash deal for $93 million from its existing shareholders. The deal was signed and completed Oct. 6, and the asset will be renamed Equinix IS2. The acquisition comprises three buildings and land, with one building partially fitted out and two buildings prepared for data center fit-out.

* U.K.-headquartered Dialog Semiconductor Plc said Oct. 5 that it is acquiring U.S.-based Silego Technology Inc. for $276 million, plus up to $30.4 million of contingent consideration. Silego is a maker of configurable mixed-signal integrated circuits. The deal will allow Dialog to boost its internet of things capabilities. The transaction is set to close by the end of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

* ORBCOMM Inc. said Oct. 2 that it acquired Galway, Ireland-based transportation management solutions provider Blue Tree Systems Ltd. for an aggregate consideration of about $36.8 million, subject to a working capital adjustment. The deal also covers the acquisition of Blue Tree's subsidiaries in the U.S., Germany and France. Blue Tree provides transportation management solutions to more than 300 customers in North America, the European Union, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, along with country-specific compliance solutions in North America and Europe.