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Deutsche Telekom talks T-Mobile, Sprint deal; Axel Springer accepts KKR offer

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Aug. 5 to Aug. 9.

TOP NEWS

* Deutsche Telekom AG is willing to engage with state attorneys general in the U.S. who have filed a lawsuit against the merger between its unit T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp., said company CEO Timotheus Höttges. The U.S. Department of Justice conditionally approved the deal after the parties agreed to divest Sprint's prepaid business to DISH Network Corp., but some analysts say the lawsuit from more than a dozen AGs, led by New York and California, could delay the wireless transaction's closing by at least several more months.

* Axel Springer SE shareholders, representing 27.8% of the company's share capital, accepted KKR & Co. Inc.'s offer to buy out minority shareholders' stakes in the German media company. The offer's completion remains subject to antitrust, foreign investment and media law approval.

* Sky Studios Ltd., the production outfit owned by pay TV giant Sky Ltd., acquired a 24.9% stake in True to Nature Ltd., a U.K.-based producer of natural history content. Under the deal, Sky Studios will provide support to beef up and expand TTN's operations. TTN and Sky Studios will also jointly develop content to be aired on Sky's various platforms. TTN will retain full creative independence post deal completion. Sky is a unit of Comcast Corp.

Media

* Nexon Co. Ltd. is increasing its stake in Embark Studios AB to 72.8% from 66.1%, BusinessKorea reported Aug. 5. The Japan-based company, which trades publicly on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, also announced that it will have the option to fully purchase the remaining shares of the Swedish gaming developer over a five-year period.

Communications

* VEON Ltd. unit VEON Holdings BV's mandatory offer to purchase up to 1,997,639,608 shares of Global Telecom Holding SAE, representing about 42.31% of GTH's issued shares, expired Aug. 6. The Netherlands-based company said the aggregate number of shares validly tendered and accepted for purchase and not validly withdrawn was 1,914,322,110 shares.

* Private equity firm Apse Capital Ltd. acquired a majority stake in IT company Ultima Business Solutions Ltd. Following the transaction, Ultima founder Max McNeill became a minority shareholder in the company, according to an Aug. 5 news release. U.K.-based Ultima Business Solutions offers strategy and planning services in the areas of data center and cloud, among other services.

* Ireland-based Accenture PLC acquired Northstream AB, a Stockholm-based consultancy to communications service providers and networking services vendors, according to an Aug. 5 news release. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

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