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Gray, Raycom complete merger; AT&T closes $1.1B sale of data center business

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' technology, media and telecommunications deal announcements and completions from Dec. 24 to Jan. 7.

TOP NEWS

* Gray Television Inc. became the third-largest television broadcast station group in the U.S. after it completed its $3.65 billion acquisition of Raycom Media Inc.

Gray and Raycom also completed the divestitures of nine television stations in overlap markets consistent with the parties' June 25, 2018, joint announcement of their merger, in order to satisfy the conditions placed on the merger by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.

TEGNA Inc. completed the acquisition of CBS (US) affiliate WTOL in Toledo, Ohio and NBC (US) affiliate KWES in Midland-Odessa, Texas, from Gray for $105 million in cash. E.W. Scripps Co. closed its acquisition of three ABC (US) affiliated television stations, KXXV and KRHD in Waco-Temple-Bryan, Texas, and WTXL in Tallahassee, Fla., from Raycom in a $55 million transaction.

Meanwhile, Lockwood Broadcasting Inc. acquired FOX (US) affiliates WTNZ in the Knoxville, Tenn., market, WFXG in the Augusta, Ga., market, WPGX in the Panama City, Fla., market and WDFX in the Dothan, Ala., market. Additionally, immediately prior to the Gray/Raycom deal closing, Raycom completed the spinoffs to its shareholders of two of its wholly owned subsidiaries, CNHI LLC and PureCars Automotive LLC.

Announcements

* Texas-based Mr. Cooper Group Inc. will purchase servicing rights for government-sponsored enterprise mortgages worth $24 billion and the Seterus mortgage servicing platform from International Business Machines Corp.

* Technology-focused private equity firm Vector Capital Management LP agreed to buy Aspect Software Inc., which provides customer engagement, workforce optimization and self-service omnichannel solutions. The deal would see Vector Capital investing more than $100 million in Aspect.

* NEC Corp. agreed to buy KMD Holding ApS for about 8 billion Danish kroner from private equity investor Advent International Corp. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of February. KMD Holding is the holding company of Danish information technology company KMD A/S.

Completions

* Affiliates of U.K.-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners Ltd.'s CVC Fund VII completed their offer to acquire all outstanding shares of ConvergeOne Holdings Inc. for $12.50 per share in cash. The tender offer for the shares expired Jan. 3, and as of the expiration, approximately 97.48% of ConvergeOne's common stock had been validly tendered and not withdrawn.

* Private equity firm Anzu Partners completed the sale of Axsun Technologies LLC to electronics maker Excelitas Technologies Corp. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

* Public relations management company Cision Ltd. acquired social media company Falcon.io ApS for an undisclosed sum. Falcon's social media marketing capabilities will immediately be made available to Cision customers, according to a Jan. 3 news release.

* San Francisco-based private investment firm GI Partners LLC acquired Single Digits Inc., a managed wireless network solutions provider, for an undisclosed sum. Single Digits represents the sixth platform investment in GI Partners Fund V, a $2.8 billion private equity fund raised in 2017, according to a Jan. 3 news release.

* Centre Lane Partners LLC purchased Turning Technologies LLC from middle-market private equity firm Brockway Moran & Partners Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

* Cloud software company Blackbaud Inc. acquired enterprise philanthropy provider YourCause LLC from private equity firm Providence Strategic Growth Capital Partners LLC for about $157 million. As part of the transaction, YourCause's Plano, Texas-based team of 155 employees will join Blackbaud.

* Chicago-based private investment firm Thoma Bravo LLC completed its purchase of cloud-based software security platform Veracode Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at $950 million.

* Zynga Inc. completed its acquisition of 80% of all issued and outstanding shares and other equity securities of Finland-based mobile game developer Small Giant Games Ltd. in a cash-and-stock deal. Zynga paid $363.5 million in cash and issued 63,794,746 shares of its class A common stock to certain sellers, according to a Jan. 2 SEC filing. The company will purchase the remaining 20% share of Small Giant over the next three years for amounts determined by profitability goals.

* Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Inc. acquired APlus.com, a digital media company co-founded and chaired by Ashton Kutcher, for $15 million in cash and stock. As part of the agreement, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment acquired all the outstanding shares of common stock of A Plus in consideration for about 350,000 shares of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment stock and cash, according to a Jan. 2 news release.

* Technology-focused private equity firm Vector Capital closed its acquisition of Host Analytics Inc., which provides cloud-based enterprise performance management solutions, from StarVest Partners LP for an undisclosed sum.

* AT&T Inc. closed the sale of its data center colocation operations and assets to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP and its institutional partners for $1.1 billion. Brookfield created a wholly owned company, Evoque Data Center Solutions, to own and operate the assets. AT&T transferred customer contracts, employees supporting the colocation operations, fixed assets, leases and specified owned facilities to Brookfield. Evoque joins AT&T's global colocation ecosystem program where AT&T will offer Evoque's colocation services to business customers.

* Windstream Holdings Inc. sold its EarthLink consumer internet business to Dallas-based private equity firm Trive Capital Management LLC in a cash deal worth $330 million. Windstream acquired the business in its merger with Earthlink Holdings Corp. in February 2017. The legacy EarthLink consumer internet business offers internet access, online backup, managed web design, web hosting and various email services to more than 600,000 customers throughout the U.S.

* Phoenix Tower International LLC acquired Syscom Telecom LLC, a small cell deployment business in the U.S., for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition adds more than 80,000 marketable sites to Phoenix Tower's U.S. portfolio, according to a Dec. 28, 2018, news release.