SNL Kagan provides a wrap-upof media and communications deal announcements and completions from April 4 toApril 8.
*Gannett Co Inc. onApril 8 closed itsacquisition ofJournal Media GroupInc. The transaction includes Journal Media Group's 15 dailynewspapers and affiliated digital assets. Following this acquisition, Gannettwill operate USA TODAY and 107dailies in 34 states and Guam, in addition to Newsquest in the U.K., with its150 local digital and print news brands. Gannett in October 2015 signed anagreement to acquire Journal Media for about $280 million, net of acquiredcash. Journal Media Group shareholders will receive $12.00 per share in cash.The closing of the transaction follows the receipt of all necessary regulatoryapprovals and approval of the transaction by Journal Media Group shareholders.Journal Media Group common stock will cease trading after the close of marketApril 8 and will no longer be listed on the NYSE.
*Vivendi SA unitCanal Plus SA saidApril 7 that it acquired Miami-based content distribution company Alterna'TVfrom Eutelsat CommunicationsSA unit Eutelsat Americas. Alterna'TV distributes Latin Americanchannels to U.S. cable and IPTV operators. The French pay TV operator made thepurchase via itsdistribution subsidiary Thema, which has an office in North America. Thetransaction willenable Canal Plus to beef up its presence in the region, with Thema integratingits commercial activities with those acquired from Alterna'TV. The deal alsoentails a long-term agreement for Canal Plus to lease capacity on Eutelsat's113 West A and 117 West A satellites.
*Verizon CommunicationsInc. struck a deal to buy about 24.5% stake in AwesomenessTV. Uponcompletion of this transaction,the AwesomenessTV multi-platform media company will be valued at about $650million, Verizon said April 6. DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., which acquiredAwesomenessTV in 2013, will remain the company's majority stakeholder with anearly 51% ownership of outstanding shares, while will own the remaining24.5%. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, iscurrently expected to close within the next 60 days. Also, Verizon struck adeal with AwesomenessTV to create a premium short-form mobile video service,which will operate as a new and independent brand, and feature premiumtransactional content for a variety of audiences. The new service will launchas part of the go90 offering and Verizon will fund the initiative through amultiyear agreement with AwesomenessTV. Brian Robbins, AwesomenessTV founderand CEO, and Brett Bouttier, AwesomenessTV's president, will continue to leadthe company.
*Viacom Inc. unit BETNetworks acquired Soul Train from InterMedia Partners and The Yucaipa Cos. Thetransaction isexpected to strengthen BET's investment in content and brings together twoquintessential African American brands, according to an April 4 news release.The assetsacquired include one of the largest libraries of African American,music-oriented content, including more than 1,100 television episodes and 40television specials.
*Crown Castle InternationalCorp. bought out Tower Development Corp. in a cash valued at roughly $461million. The company said April 8 that it financed the using availablecash, including cash on hand, cash from borrowings under its revolving creditfacility and cash from the sale of about 3.5 million net common shares at anaverage per-share price of $85.52 year-to-date. Crown Castle expects thetransaction to contribute about $25 million to $27 million to its site rentalgross margin in the first full year of its ownership and that it will beimmediately accretive to AFFO per share. A Berkshire Partners portfoliocompany, Tower Development owns and operates 336 towers in the U.S. and PuertoRico with an average tenancy of about two tenants per tower, according to arelease.