The European edition of M&A Replay presents a weekly wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates.
* The European Commission has granted unconditional approval to Tele2 Sweden's proposed acquisition of TDC A/S unit TDC Sweden. The commission said Oct. 7 that the deal would not raise any antitrust concerns since the companies' activities largely complement each other. It noted that Tele2 mainly caters to residential customers while TDC Sweden's services target big businesses. The EC also found that while the combined entity would corner more than 20% of the retail mobile market, TDC Sweden has a small share of the said sector and that other alternative telcos would remain after the transaction. Tele2 said the same day that it will now work to complete the acquisition by the end of October.
* Earlier on Oct. 4, Tele2 announced a rights issue of about 3 billion Swedish kronor, in connection with its acquisition of TDC Sweden. The issue is subject to approval by Tele2 shareholders during their extraordinary general meeting Oct. 27.
* Funds managed by private equity company FSN Capital agreed to acquire e-commerce firm Bygghemma Group Nordic AB, according to an Oct. 3 news release. Bygghemma Group sells do-it-yourself building materials and home furnishing products via websites such as bygghemma.se, bygghjemme.no, trademax.se and chilli.se.
* Telia Co. AB completed the sale of its 76.6% stake in Spanish mobile operator unit Yoigo to MásMóvil for €479 million, according to an Oct. 6 news release. The divestment is estimated to generate a capital gain of more than 4 billion Swedish kronor and, following debt adjustments, to reduce net debt for Telia by about 6 billion kronor.
* Nokia Corp. acquired U.S.-based startup Eta Devices, according to an Oct. 5 news release. Eta Devices specializes in power amplifier efficiency products for base stations.
* Orange SA completed the acquisition of a 65% stake in Groupama Banque SA from insurer Groupama SA, the firms said Oct. 4. Orange plans to rebrand Groupama Banque as Orange Bank from January 2017 and use it as a platform to launch a mobile bank. It will begin marketing Orange Bank during the first half of 2017, ultimately aiming to attract more than 2 million customers. André Coisne was named CEO of the lender after the acquisition, which was approved by French and European regulatory and prudential authorities.
* The expiration date of Nokia's public buyout offer for Alcatel-Lucent has been extended, Nokia said Oct. 4. Legal action has been taken against the French stock market authority's clearance of the buyout offer, causing the expiration date to be moved indefinitely.
* VimpelCom and CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. agreed to a one-year lockup period on their Italian joint venture, as well as a right of first refusal on each other's share, Telecompaper reported Oct. 4, citing Corriere della Sera. Both companies also reportedly agreed not to lower their indirect stake in the merged Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA-3 Italia entity below 50% during the first year of the merger being effective.
* Russia's Mail.ru purchased mobile games design firm Pixonic for $30 million, Telecompaper reported Oct. 4. Established in 2009, Pixonic has 100 employees, and reported 619 million Russian rubles in revenues for the first half of 2016, according to the report.
* Com Hem said Sept. 30 that it completed the acquisition of digital pay TV operator Boxer TV-Access AB after securing state and regulatory approvals in Sweden. The deal enables Boxer to sell fiber-based broadband and TV services, a move expected by Com Hem to support its goal of reaching 800,000 residential customers over the succeeding years or a 40% increase from its current footprint. The acquisition includes the Boxer brand, which will become part of the Com Hem group.