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European deals through July 15: Amazon, Lions Gate, AMC Entertainment


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European deals through July 15: Amazon, Lions Gate, AMC Entertainment

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


*AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.has agreed to acquireLondon-based Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group from investment firm Terra FirmaCapital Partners Ltd. for about £921 million. AMC's board and Odeon & UCIshareholders both approved the transaction,according to a July 12 news release. Odeon & UCI will become a unit of AMCupon deal completion. It will keep its London headquarters and brand names,while CEO Paul Donovan and his management team will continue to lead the company.The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, subject toapproval from the European Commission as well as to consultation with theEuropean Works Council. In a separate news release that same day, AMC said thedeal with Odeon & UCI will not impact its ability to complete theacquisition ofCarmike Cinemas Inc.AMC Entertainment is a unit of DalianWanda Group Corp. Ltd.

M&A Media

* Inc.has Cloud9, a firm whichprovides an integrated development environment in the cloud. Cloud9 will jointhe Amazon Web Services team, and will continue to operate as usual, accordingto a July 14 post on the official Cloud9 blog. Cloud9's core development teamis in Amsterdam while its main office is in San Francisco.

*Hasbro Inc. boughtIrish animation company Boulder Media, according to a July 13 news release.Boulder will continue making animated series for third-party clients whileproducing animation projects for Hasbro brands. It will also keep its brand,with its team reporting to Stephen Davis, head of Hasbro's entertainment andconsumer products licensing division. Boulder has produced animation series forCartoon Network,Nickelodeon,Walt Disney Co. andthe British Broadcasting Corp.Cartoon Network is owned by TimeWarner Inc.'s TurnerBroadcasting System Inc., while Viacom Inc. owns Nickelodeon.

*Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.purchased a stake inproduction company Primal Media, Lions Gate said July 13. Under the , Lions Gate willdistribute Primal Media's content worldwide as well as adapt formats owned byPrimal Media for the U.S. and worldwide market. Primal Media, which willcontinue to develop and produce unscripted programs in the U.K., will work withLions Gate's alternative programming team in the U.S. to adapt U.S. formats forthe U.K.

*Liberty Global plc'sVirgin Media Inc. hasagreed to acquirefree-to-air commercial broadcaster UTV Ireland from ITV Plc for €10 million. The deal is expected to befunded through existing liquidity, Virgin Media said July 11. The transactionincludes a comprehensive 10-year output deal for Ireland with ITV-producedprogramming. The acquisition is subject to competition and regulatory approvalfrom the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the BroadcastingAuthority of Ireland, in addition to a separate media plurality test by theIrish government. The deal is expected to be approved in the coming months.

M&A Communications

*Vodafone Group Plcand Liberty Global on July 12 offeredconcessions to secure EU regulatory approval for the proposed merger of theirrespective Dutch units, VodafoneNederland and ZiggoNV. The European Commission also extended the deadline for itsdecision on the deal to Aug. 3, according to an update on the EC's competitionwebsite. The commission is expected to ask feedback from rival operators andother interested parties before ruling on the transaction, Reuters reportedJuly 13.

*Spain's Cellnex Telecom is acquiring230 towers from French operator BouyguesTelecom for €80 million. Cellnex said July 11 that it also inked a20-year agreement to provide services to Bouygues as part of the deal, whichwill be funded through existing credit lines. Under a second phase of the dealwhich is currently being negotiated, Cellnex could increase the number of itsacquired tower assets from Bouygues up to 500.