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In Play Today: Apple eyeing Tidal; Shari Redstone approaches Alibaba founder for Paramount stake sale

S&P Global MarketIntelligence presents In Play Today, a periodic summary of potential dealactivity in the sector, including rumored transactions. This summary is basedon information obtained by S&P Global Market and may not be inclusive ofall potential deal activity. Send comments and news leads to mali@snl.com.

*Apple Inc. isexploring a deal forJay Z-owned music streaming platform Tidal to boost its Apple Music service, The Wall Street Journal reported June30. The ongoing talks between the companies may not result in a potential deal,details of which remain unclear, the people reportedly said. A Tidal spokesmandenied that the company executives had held talks with Apple, according to the Journal.

* Shari Redstone, daughter of and Chairman Emeritus SumnerRedstone, held talkswith Alibaba Group HoldingLtd. founder Jack Ma about the potential sale of a stake inParamount Pictures, the New York Postreported June 15, citing sources familiar with the details. The talks, whichtook place in the week of June 6, came as Viacom's controlling shareholder, NationalAmusements Inc., also initiated talks with investment banks in order to collectinformation about the sale process, according to the report. Shari Redstone ispresident of National Amusements and vice chairman of Viacom.

* Three buyout groups TPG, Advent International Corp., and apartnership of Sycamore Partners and Vector Capital Management LP are part ofthe final round of bidding for Yahoo! Inc.'s core internet assets, Bloomberg Newsreported June 14, citing sources with knowledge of the details. ,AT&T Inc. andQuicken Loans Inc. Founder Dan Gilbert have also made it to the final round,but Apax Partners and a group comprising Bain Capital LP and Vista EquityPartners bowed out from the bidding process, according to the report. TPGplaced a bid in the range of $5 billion to $6 billion for the company'sinternet business, patents and real estate assets. Verizon's reported offer isin the $3.75 billion to $4 billion range as it does not include bids forYahoo's patents and real estate assets, even though the company is believed tobe willing to acquire both. All other offers are in the $4 billion to $6billion range, according to the report.

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* TribuneMedia Co. initiated the sale of its digital and data unit to try tobring in at least $800 million, Reuters reported June 14, citing three peoplefamiliar with the matter. The auction is reportedly part of a range ofstrategic and financial alternatives that Tribune Media in February. Tribune could alsodivest other units as part of the strategic review, the sources said. Thedigital and data unit, which includes Gracenote Inc., is a content and datacollector and distributor that serves music and online video services, cablecompanies and consumer devices. The sale could close by the end of summer or earlyfall, according to the report.

* Japanese automaker Toyota Motor is in final with 's to robotics companies BostonDynamics and Schaft, Nikkei Asian Reviewreported June 1. Toyota plans to purchase the companies through Toyota ResearchInstitute. Part of the deal is expected to be financed by $1 billion budgetedfor the institute's research and development over the next five years,according to the report. Nikkei added that Toyota and Google have not yetfinalized the details, and the deal could still fall through.

* Google is selling off its stake in Chinese personal computer makerLenovo, Reuters reported June 1, citing a deal term sheet seen by IFR. Thecompany expects to raise $218 million to $221 million by offering 371 millionshares in Lenovo.