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European deals: Sky to share info on Disney/Fox deal; Nokia acquires Unium


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European deals: Sky to share info on Disney/Fox deal; Nokia acquires Unium

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from March 12 to March 16.


* Sky plc said March 15 that it entered into a confidentiality agreement with 21st Century Fox Inc. and Walt Disney Co., in relation to the proposed deal between the two U.S. companies. The agreement states that Sky may be required to share information to relevant regulators, as well as to Fox and Disney, in relation to the deal. In turn, Disney will share its "intentions in relation to seeking and maintaining those regulatory approvals relevant to the continued operation of the business of the Sky Group."

* Nokia Corp. said March 16 that it completed the acquisition of Seattle-based software company Unium Inc., which specializes in residential Wi-Fi applications and will operate under Nokia's fixed networks group.

M&A Media

* European audiovisual content platform Mediawan SA said March 15 that it completed the acquisition of a majority stake in Makever SAS.

* British newspaper publisher and media company Daily Mail and General Trust plc, or DMGT, agreed to sell EDR, its U.S.-based property information business, to two technology-focused private equity firms for $205 million. Silver Lake and Battery Ventures will acquire the business, which provides property due diligence and risk management technology and information. The deal is scheduled to close in the coming weeks, subject to customary conditions. DMGT announced plans to sell the business in November 2017.

* Keshet International Ltd. has acquired a majority stake in Greenbird Media, buying out BBC Worldwide Ltd.'s 30% stake in the British production group, Digital TV Europe reported March 12. The deal will allow Kehet to become the content distributor of 13 indies that Greenbird supports, such as Big Light Productions, Flicker Pictures, Kalel Productions and Top Hat Productions. BBC Worldwide is a unit of the British Broadcasting Corp.

* Lagardère SCA unit Lagardère Active SAS said March 12 that Lagardère Studios has acquired Dutch independent production company Skyhigh TV, which is owned by its founding shareholders Marc Dik, Wilfred Drechsler and Bernard van den Bosch. Skyhigh TV creates productions for Dutch public and private broadcasters.

M&A Communications

* Shareholders of Spanish toll road operator Abertis Infraestructuras SA agreed to sell the company's 57% stake in satellite operator Hispasat SA to national grid operator Red Electrica Corp., Telecompaper reported March 14, citing EFE. Abertis shareholders also voted in favor of passing to Red Electrica an obligation to acquire further holdings in Hispasat from Eutelsat Communications SA.

* The Finnish government has acquired a 3.3% stake in Nokia for about €844 million as it seeks to strengthen a company seen as crucial for the nation. Solidium Oy, Finland's state-owned investment company, said March 13 that Nokia now accounts for about 11% of its €8.4 billion of total equity investments. The fund bought shares in the telecom equipment maker from the market at the start of this year after it divested its stake in Swedish telecom company Telia Co. AB.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s financial arm Ant Financial Services Group reached a strategic partnership with Norway's Telenor ASA, according to a March 13 news release. The deal will allow Ant Financial to acquire a 45% stake in Telenor's Pakistan-based unit Telenor Microfinance Bank for $184.5 million. Ant Financial aims to leverage on its experience from Alipay to upgrade Telenor Microfinance Bank's mobile wallet Easypaisa.

* Telia unit Telia Lithuania has secured approval from a special Lithuanian government commission for state security services in relation to the company's takeover of hosting services provider Duomenu logistikos centras, Telecompaper reported March 12, citing The deal still needs to be approved by the Lithuanian Competition Council.