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Canadian fund to invest in Axel Springer; EC approves Infineon, Cypress deal

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Oct. 14 to Oct. 19.

TOP NEWS

* The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board committed to investing at least €500 million in a KKR & Co. Inc.-backed public tender offer for shares in German media and technology company Axel Springer SE. CPPIB, through its European unit CPPIB Europe Sàrl, will make the investment in KKR-owned holding company Traviata II Sàrl, which is conducting the tender offer, according to an Oct. 15 statement. The investment will happen in the coming months, subject to regulatory approvals and the deal's closing.

* The European Commission granted regulatory clearance to Infineon Technologies AG's proposed acquisition of U.S. chipmaker Cypress Semiconductor Corp. The commission said the deal does not raise any antitrust concerns since Infineon and Cypress have limited overlaps in their businesses, and that the companies have "credible" competitors. Infineon agreed in June to acquire Cypress for an enterprise value of €9.0 billion. The deal is expected to be completed by end-2019 or early 2020.

Media

* Czech Media Invest a.s. acquired a stake of about 4% in German media company ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, Reuters reported, citing confirmation from the company. Czech Media Invest's stake acquisition in ProSiebenSat.1 is in response to a call from its shareholders to ensure growth within Europe, the report said, citing a statement from Czech Media Invest Finance Director Branislav Miskovic. The acquisition is part of a move to build up a portfolio of minority stakes in European media companies.

* NorthEdge Capital LLP, through NorthEdge Capital Fund II, invested £46.6 million in Catalis PLC in a deal valuing the London-based video games company at £90 million. As part of the transaction, Catalis CEO Dominic Wheatley and Catalis shareholder Vespa Capital reinvested the majority of their shareholdings in the company. Lower middle-market investor NorthEdge committed follow-on capital to support management's growth strategy. The funds will be used for the global expansion of Testronic, including the opening of a new location in New Orleans for Catalis' quality assurance services unit, and to support the development pipeline at Curve, Catalis' video games publisher division.

Communications

* Assa Abloy AB, through its subsidiary HID Global Corp., completed the acquisition of passport manufacturer De La Rue PLC's international identity solutions business. The latter will be integrated into HID's citizen identity solutions business.

* Accenture PLC acquired Happen Ltd., a London-based privately owned consulting services firm. Happen will be integrated into Accenture's Products Industry X.0 advanced digital technology business.

* Freenet AG continues to oppose Sunrise Communications Group AG's proposed acquisition of UPC Schweiz, despite Liberty Global PLC's offer to participate in a rights issuance to fund the deal, Reuters reported, citing a company statement. The German operator, which owns a 24.5% stake in Sunrise, said the deal is "too expensive" and that Liberty Global has "merely said it will participate at rock-bottom prices" with the money they will receive from the deal. Liberty Global, which owns UPC Schweiz, agreed to invest up to CHF500 million in a combination of the Swiss operator's tradable subscription rights and subsequent subscription of newly issued shares. Sunrise believes the investment will lessen the financial commitment needed from its shareholders. Sunrise shareholders are set to vote at an Oct. 23 special meeting on the rights issue.

* German IT integrator and services provider Cancom SE, through U.K. unit Cancom Ltd., agreed to buy Belfast, Northern Ireland-based peer Novosco Group Ltd. for about £70 million. Under the deal, Cancom SE paid £60 million in cash and a 7.5% stake in Cancom Ltd. to Novosco's owner-sellers, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Cancom expects the acquisition to expand its managed services capabilities and beef up its market presence in the U.K., while also gaining direct access to the Irish market. Novosco offers managed services, cloud-based services, and IT consulting and support.

* KKR acquired a majority stake in British gigabit broadband operator Hyperoptic Ltd. The investment firm, through KKR Global Infrastructure Investors III LP, purchased the stake from funds managed by Newlight Partners LP and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala Investment Co., according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Hyperoptic provides full-fiber broadband services through a network that serves nearly 400,000 premises across 43 towns and cities across the U.K.

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