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Asia-Pacific deals through Dec. 9: Aixtron, News Corp., KDDI

Southeast Asian broadband providers report varying performance amid COVID-19

Cable networks react to pandemic by cutting SG&A, programming costs

Strong Competition Remains For Thailand Digital Terrestrial TV Channel

ITU: Regulators discuss impacts of COVID-19 on policymaking


Asia-Pacific deals through Dec. 9: Aixtron, News Corp., KDDI

The Asia-Pacific edition of M&A Replay presents a biweekly wrap-up of media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates in the Asia-Pacific region.

TOP NEWS

* China's Fujian Grand Chip Investment withdrew its offer to acquire German chipmaker Aixtron SE, shortly after U.S. President Barack Obama blocked the deal for national security reasons, the Financial Times reported Dec. 8. Fujian said the offer lapsed because it was not able to secure approval from Obama or the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, which was a condition of the deal.

* News Corp. has taken over the Australian and New Zealand versions of Sky News 24/7, Advanced Television reported Dec. 1, citing an official statement. As part of the transaction, the company acquired shares in the news broadcasters that it did not already own from channels Seven Network Ltd. and Shertip/Nine Network for A$20 million to A$25 million. The deal includes the various Sky News Australia/Australian News Channel subsidiaries such as Sky News Business, Sky News Weather, A-PAC and the New Zealand News Channel.

* Japanese telco KDDI Corp. said Dec. 8 that it will purchase all shares of Biglobe Inc. for about ¥80 billion. KDDI is planning to acquire the Japanese internet service provider around the end of January 2017, making Biglobe a wholly owned subsidiary. Biglobe is currently managed and operated by Japan Industrial Partners Inc.

MEDIA

* SportsHero, a Singaporean tech startup dedicated to sports prediction, will list on the Australian Securities Exchange through a reverse takeover of Nevada Iron Ltd., the Singapore Business Review reported Dec. 9. Nevada Iron expects to raise A$3 million from the IPO.

* South Korean cable TV operator CJ HelloVision acquired Hana Broadcasting, a multisystem operator in the country's southeastern region, for 22.5 billion won, Financial News reported Dec. 6. After the CJ O Shopping subsidiary's proposed merger with SK Telecom Co. Ltd. was rejected, the company is reportedly refocusing on scaling up to take the lead in the cable TV industry.

* California-based entertainment company Live Nation Entertainment Inc. announced on Dec. 4 that it acquired 51% of Australian independent music group Secret Sounds Group Pty Ltd. The deal sees Live Nation grow its music festival portfolio of more than 80 global events, as Secret Sounds owns and produces the Australian festivals Splendour in the Grass and Falls Music & Arts Festival.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s sports arm are considering buying a 23% stake in Spanish media company Imagina Media Audiovisual S.L. for €500 million, Sina reported Nov. 29.

* Alibaba's film arm Alibaba Pictures Group is acquiring a 30% stake in Chinese film investment company Hehe Pictures, making it the second-largest shareholder, Variety reported Nov. 27, citing an official statement.

COMMUNICATIONS

* Japan's TDK Corp. is in talks to acquire InvenSense Inc., the U.S.-based motion sensor provider for Apple Inc. and Samsung Group unit Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Reuters reported Dec. 9. InvenSense produces gyroscopes that enable augmented reality apps. TDK reportedly offered US$12 per share, and negotiations are expected to be completed by the end of December.

* Australia's Spirit Telecom (Australia) Pty Ltd. acquired Phone Names Marketing and an associated entity for A$4.2 million, CRN reported Dec. 8. Spirit aims to provide high-demand phone names and bundle services to existing customers through the deal.

* Indian telco Idea Cellular denied receiving offers to sell its its tower business for about US$1 billion, The Economic Times (India) reported Nov. 30. The Bombay Stock Exchange requested clarification from the Aditya Birla Group-owned telco about a Nov. 29 report by CNBC-TV18 that said Idea is considering the sale of its 11,000 mobile towers and had started talks with American Tower Corp., Bharti Airtel Ltd.-owned Bharti Infratel and Brookfield.

* Sharp Corp. announced Nov. 29 that ChengDu Jusda Supply Chain Management's unit Jusda International Ltd. will boost its capital investment in Sharp's supply management unit Sharp Jusda Logistics Corp. Jusda International will hold a 51% stake in SJL.

* NEC Corp. will merge two information-system developing units in April 2017, the company said Nov. 28. NEC Informatec Systems Ltd. will merge with software unit NEC Soft to converge developers in areas such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.