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European deals through May 26: Vodafone, Telia, Lumos Networks


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European deals through May 26: Vodafone, Telia, Lumos Networks

The European edition of M&A Replay presents a weekly wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates.


* Vodafone Group Plc is merging its Vodafone Malta unit with Maltese quad play provider Melita Ltd., owned by Apax Partners Midmarket SAS and Fortino Capital, according to a May 24 company release. The transaction values Vodafone Malta and Melita at enterprise values of €208 million and €298 million, respectively. Apax and Fortino Capital will own 51% of the combined company, which will operate under the Vodafone brand, while Vodafone unit Vodafone Europe BV will own the remaining 49%. The transaction is expected to close in the second half, pending approval from the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority.

* A consortium led by Spanish towers operator Cellnex Telecom agreed to fully acquire Sunrise Communications Group AG's telecom towers unit Swiss Towers AG for €430 million free of cash, Cellnex and Sunrise said May 24 in separate news releases. Along with the deal, the consortium and Sunrise agreed on a long-term contract, under which Sunrise will provide transitional tower infrastructure services to Swiss Towers. The said master service agreement will initially run for 20 years and can be extended to 20 more years in two 10-year periods. The companies also inked a build-to-suit agreement that subcontracts Sunrise to build additional telecom towers over the next 10 years, plus 200 distributed antenna system nodes. Subject to a merger control clearance from the Swiss competition authority, the transaction is expected to be completed within the June-July period.

M&A Media

* Spanish media conglomerate Atresmedia said May 26 that it agreed to acquire digital advertising company Smartclip Latam, which operates in Spain and Latin America. The deal will enable Atresmedia to cover more than 90% of Spain's digital ad market and manage more than 200 premium web platforms.

* RTL Group and M6 Group approved the adjusted price for the latter's acquisition of RTL Radio (France), according to a May 23 news release. The transaction is now agreed at €199.8 million versus the €216 million price tag announced Dec. 13, 2016. The amended deal is still pending authorization from French media authority CSA.

* Dublin-based Keywords Studios plc acquired Strongbox Ltd., a holding company which operates in China and Indonesia under the Red Hot CG brand, according to a May 22 stock exchange filing. Keywords, a provider of technical services to the video games industry, will pay $6 million for Red Hot, which produces graphical art assets for video games.

M&A Communications

* Ukrainian cable operator Volia agreed to acquire the assets of Airbites Group, Telecompaper reported May 25. Airbites subscribers will be migrated to the Volia brand from June 1, with the merger of the operators expected to be completed by July 1.

* Lumos Networks Corp.'s stockholders approved the company's merger agreement with Sweden's EQT Infrastructure, according to a May 24 news release. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

* Telia Co. AB fully acquired Finnish cloud services provider Nebula Top Oy for €165 million, as the Sweden-based operator looks to position itself in the SME and SoHo segments, according to a May 22 news release. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to approval from the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.