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MEO/Cellnex deal; Sunrise CEO exit; Disney's spending on Star Wars

TOP NEWS

* Altice Europe subsidiary MEO sold its 25% equity interest in Portuguese tower company OMTEL to Cellnex Telecom SA in a deal expected to yield cash proceeds of up to €200 million. The transaction is part of a larger deal, pursuant to which Cellnex is acquiring 100% of the share capital of OMTEL, according to a news release.

* Sunrise Communications Group AG CEO Olaf Swantee decided to step down after almost four years of service, according to a news release. Swantee will be succeeded by André Krause, current CFO of Sunrise, with immediate effect.

* The Walt Disney Co.'s subsidiaries in the U.K. spent £1.5 billion in the last six years for the creation of the five latest "Star Wars" franchises, according to a research conducted by London's The Daily Telegraph. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" were filmed at U.K.'s Pinewood Studios Ltd.

* Apple Inc.'s new licensing deal with Imagination Technologies Group PLC could see the British chipmaker's components make it into iPads, the Apple Watch and a rumored augmented reality headset, according to analysts.

UK AND IRELAND

* World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s "NXT" will be available in the U.K. and Ireland through an agreement with British Telecom's BT Sport, Rapid TV News reports.

* The British Broadcasting Corp. reached out to women who are preparing to file equal pay cases against the company for a potential settlement agreement, U.K.'s The Guardian reports, citing sources.

GERMANY, SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA

* German publisher Funke Mediengruppe GmbH & Co. KGaA will continue to print German newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt at Axel Springer SE's facility, reports Horizont. Both parties had come to an agreement after Funke considered withdrawing the print run from Axel Springer's plant.

* Funke and real estate investor René Benko announced their majority control of Austrian newspaper Krone, reports Der Standard. Together, they hold a 50% stake.

* Divimove GmbH, the video influencer network owned by German broadcasting company RTL Group SA, plans to take over specialist agency Tube One, reports Horizont. Tube One's clients include Rewe Gruppe, Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG and Volkswagen AG.

FRANCE

* Lagardère SCA said it made an additional contribution of about €2.8 million as part of the amount allocated to the liquidity agreement entrusted to Kepler Chevreux IFE. A detailed report on the implementation of the agreement for the second half of 2019 will be published in the coming days.

NETHERLANDS, BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG

* Amsterdam-based ICT-provider Solitee acquired industry partner Five Up for an undisclosed amount, reports Computable. Solitee provides ICT services to both business clients and government organizations.

* Dutch radio station Coastline FM terminated its FM and DAB+ broadcasts in the North of the Netherlands, reports Mediamagazine. The high costs of broadcasting via DAB+ is the main cause of termination. The station is still available via the internet.

NORDIC COUNTRIES

* Bonnier AB-owned HD-Sydsvenskan Ab will sell the local newspaper publishing business Östgötatidningen, reports Dagens Media. HD-Sydsvenskan will refocus its newspaper publishing to the Scania region.

* Smart Eye AB said it appointed Ossian Ekdahl to the company's nomination committee, replacing Olof Jonasson. Ekdahl's nomination was endorsed by the Första AP Fonden, a shareholder in Smart Eye.

* Spotify AB's Gustav Söderström was the best paid corporate executive in Sweden in 2018, writes Dagens Nyheter. Söderström, Spotify's chief research and development officer, earned about 332 million Swedish kronor in 2018. This included salary, bonuses and other benefits.

* Nokia Corp. named David Oxford as the country director for Thailand, The Nation reports. Oxford will oversee all business and operations in the country.

SOUTHERN EUROPE

* Spain will begin the migration of digital terrestrial TV services by Feb. 10 in six out of the country's 17 regions, Advanced Television reports, citing EFE. The Aragón, País Vasco, Castilla y León, Galicia, Castilla-La Mancha and Andalucía regions will free up the 700 MHz band for 5G services until March 3.

* Spanish satellite operator Hispasat SA is teaming up with software and digitalization provider Hispatec Analytics SL, to promote the use of new technologies for the agricultural sector in Europe, the Americas and north Africa, Telecompaper reports.

EASTERN EUROPE

* Pension fund PZU Zlota Jesien sold its 5.56% stake in IT company Asseco Poland SA to pay TV operator Cyfrowy Polsat SA for nearly 300 million Polish zlotys, Telecompaper reports, citing Rp.pl.

* Hungarian operator DIGI Távközlési és Szolgáltató Kft. struck a deal to offer nine TV channels from AMC Networks International - Central and Northern Europe, beginning Jan. 1, the Budapest Business Journal reports, citing a news release. The roster includes the Sport1, Sport2, AMC, Filmcafé, Spectrum, TV Paprika, Minimax, CBS Reality and JimJam channels.

* Czech telecom regulator Český telekomunikační úřad will begin regulating the country's wholesale mobile market in a bid to improve the leasing conditions for mobile virtual network operators and bring better tariffs to consumers, Telecompaper reports, citing Mobilmania.cz.

* Satellite startup OneWeb Ltd. again postponed the launch of its next batch of 34 satellites to about Feb. 3, Advanced Television reports, citing Russia's Sputnik news agency. Some of the satellites are reportedly yet to be delivered to the launch site at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

FEATURED NEWS

Disney+ UK partnerships; Starzplay Arabic original; Sky-Channel 5 deal: Walt Disney may sign partnerships in the U.K. for Disney+, Starzplay teamed up with Image Nation Abu Dhabi for original content, and Sky will bring Channel 5's content to its NOW TV service.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: State of Russian OTT video: Subscription: Subscription online video in Russia continued its growth trajectory, adding 750,000 customers in 2019 to reach a total of 2.5 million.

Anne Freier, Sylvia Edwards Davis, Charlotte van Hek and Gerard O'Dwyer contributed to this report.

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