The European edition ofM&A Replay presents a weekly wrap-up of European media and communicationsdeal announcements, completions and updates.
*Monster WorldwideInc. and its largest shareholder MediaNews Group their proxy fight overMonster's planned sale to the Netherlands-based Randstad Holding NV.MediaNews on Sept. 30 wrote a letter to Monster shareholders calling the sale"flawed and unorganized," and revealed its plans to replace Monster'sentire board with its seven nominees. Monster, meanwhile, said MNG's letter is"an attempt to derail the Randstad transaction and take control of thecompany." Monster added that MNG does not have enough experience to runthe company and is asking the stockholders to reject an all-cash offer for afuture "undisclosed strategy." Further, the Monster board said thereis a risk that Monster's stock will be negatively impacted if it continues tooperate as a standalone company. The board recommended that stockholdersapprove the Randstad offer of $3.40 per share, as it provides substantial andcertain cash value to them.
*Vivendi SA CEO Arnaudde Puyfontaine said his company is hopeful of resolving a dispute with Italiangroup Mediaset SpAover a deal involving the latter's pay TV unit Mediaset Premium, Reuters reportedSept. 30. De Puyfontaine, however, declined to comment whether or not Vivendiwill submit a new proposal.
*Swedish media group Shortcut Media is acquiring 60% of shares in virtualreality studio Good Motion, Reuters reported Sept. 30. GoodMotion specializes in high-end 3D animations and visual effects.
*BBC Worldwide Ltd.increased its stakein British indie Lookout Point to 49% from 35%, with both parties agreeing to afull takeover option in the future, the British Broadcasting Corp. unit announced Sept. 29.Lookout Point's portfolio includes "War and Peace," "RipperStreet" and "Parade's End," as well as the upcoming adaptationof "Les Misérables."
*RTL Group's Hungarianunit agreed to acquire a 30% stake in Hungarian web publisher CentralDigital Media, according to a Sept. 28 news release. RTL is expecting thetransaction to help boost RTL Hungary's presence in the digital media sector,having created a digital and development division for the subsidiary in 2015.Central Digital Media operates websites such as Nlcafe.hu, Startlap.hu,Házipatika.com, Vezess.hu and 24.hu, as well as mobile apps. The deal issubject to approval by the Hungarian Competition Authority, or GVH.
*French video game publisher Ubisoft acquired Ketchapp, a publisher of free-to-playgames for mobile phones and tablets, accordingto a Sept. 27 news release. The acquisition allows Ubisoft to expand itsdigital and mobile gaming footprint. Ketchapp developed games such as"2048," "ZigZag," "Stack," "StickHero," "Twist" and "Jelly Jump."
*News Corp. unitNews Corp. UK & IrelandLtd. has completed the acquisition of , owner of radiobroadcasters talkSPORT and Virgin Radio, following regulatory and shareholderapprovals. The deal allows both companies to share journalistic andbroadcasting talent and to cross-promote brands, News U.K. said Sept. 26.Wireless Group will continue to operate as a separate entity. News U.K. agreedto acquire Wireless Group in June for 315 British pence per share, valuing thelatter at about £220.3 million.
*Dutch fiber optic network provider Regio-Glasvezel has become the owner of CAIDigikabel's fiber networks in the De Sandelingen and Antoniapolder industrialparks, retroactively from Jan. 1, Telecompaper reportedSept. 30. Regio-Glasvezel has provided operational support to CAI Digikabel forseveral years.
*SAP SE acquiredItalian software company Plat.One, according toa Sept. 28 news release. Plat.One's platform will be integrated into SAP's HanaCloud.
*British fiber optic firm CityFibre saidSept. 26 that it completed the purchase of IT managed services providerRedcentric's duct and fiber network assets, totaling at least 137 km. The £5million deal involves a £4.5 million dark fiber lease agreement withRedcentric, and expands CityFibre's fiber footprint in Cambridge, Portsmouthand Southampton, U.K.