Industry News

United States
Reddit May Go Public by 2020
13 November 2017
Reddit may go public by 2020, said CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman during a keynote conversation at the Internet Association’s Virtuous Circle Summit on Monday, Variety reported. “The time frame is pretty far out,” he admitted. However, he also argued that going public was inevitable for Reddit to both reward employees and investors, calling it “the only responsible choice” for the company.
Huffman co-founded Reddit in 2005, and sold it to Conde Nast in 2006.

 

Italy
Telecom Italia Selling Persidera
4 October 2017
Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) today launched the sale of its majority stake in broadcasting services group Persidera, company valued at up to €400m, according to sources Reuters spoke to.
Barclays, Credit Suisse and Lazard had been reportedly selected to advise on the sale, which Bloomberg first reported.
French-owned media group Vivendi (VIV.PA), which is Telecom Italia’s biggest shareholder, received approval from the EU antitrust authorities last May to gain control of Telecom Italia after promising to sell Persidera.

 

United States
Time Wants to Sell Assets
22 September 2017
The media group Time Inc (TIME.N) announced today that it planned to sell several assets, including Time Inc UK. The company said that during the ongoing quarter it suffered a fall in revenues that is bigger than expected. Assets that could be sold include Time Customer Service and a majority stake in the Essence magazine. They together account for some 17% of the company’s total revenues in the fiscal year ending 30 June 2017.
 
United Kingdom
Activists Fight Sky Deal
1 October 2017
Activist organization Avaaz wants to stop Rupert Murdoch from buying Sky (SKYB.L). Is is planning to lodge a legal challenge with Ofcom, the British regulator, which has said that the Sky group would still be a “fit and proper” owner of a broadcasting license if Mr Murdoch goes ahead with the purchase. Ofcom ran a “fit and proper” test to assess whether the deal, estimated by Reuters at $15bn, would bring Sky under the full control of Murdoch’s Fox (FOXA.O).
 
United States
Rolling Stone on Sale
21 September 2017
The company Wenner Media said it intends to sell its majority interest in the Rolling Stone magazine. The magazine is in a process of transition to digital as its revenues form the print media business are falling massively. Wenner Media has recently sold the magazines Us Weekly and Men’s Journal. It did so for similar reasons.
 
Hungary
Ruling Party Oligarchs Take Over 18 Regional Dailies
5 August 2017
Russmedia CEE, eastern Hungary’s most important publishing company, has been sold to a business interest closely connected to the ruling Fidesz party. With the sale, each of Hungary’s 18 daily county newspapers is now owned by Fidesz-connected oligarchs, either directly or indirectly.
 
United States
Chicago Sun-Times Sold to Investors Group
13 July 2017
A group of investors led by a former Chicago official has bought the Sun-Times newspaper, which was also sought by the owners of the rival Chicago Tribune, the company Tronc Inc (TRNC.O), which also owns the Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun. The buyers are led by former Chicago Alderman Edwin Eisendrath. The vehicle used by the investors to buy Sun-Times newspaper is called ST Acquisition Holdings LLC.
 
Balkans
CME Exits Croatia and Slovenia
5 July 2017
Broadcast group Central European Media Enterprises (CME) (CETV.O) (CETV.PR) has no plans to leave other markets after it sold its television stations in Slovenia and Croatia. CME is majority owned by American media group Time Warner (TWX.N). CME announced on Monday that it agreed to sell its Croatian and Slovenian operations to United Group's Slovenia Broadband for €230m (US$ 262m) to cover CME’s US$ 1bn debt. Croatia and Slovenia generated some 18% of CME’s net revenue of US$ 638m in 2016.
 
Indonesia
Facebook to Set up Office
19 June 2017
The request of the social media operator Facebook to set up a domestic unit in Indonesia has been approved in principle, according to a local government source cited by Reuters. The Indonesian government has repeatedly pushed international technology companies to establish local branches. They argue that international tech giants set up small business entities that only offer a limited set of services in a move to avoid taxation.
 
Russia
Leading Investigative News Media Sold to ESN
16 June 2017
ESN group owned by businessman Grigory Berezkin announced that it has acquired a 65% stake in RBC, a media holding. The stake was purchased from Onexim Group, company controlled by Mikhail Prokhorov, a magnate in the metallurgy industry. During the past seven years under Mr Prohhorov, RBC came to be known as a tough investigative media outlet. Often, its stories targeted businessmen close to the Russian president Vladimir Putin. Most of the mainstream media in Russia are in a way or another controlled by the state.
The sale of RBC was the result of lobbying from a number of businessmen close to Mr Putin who were increasingly irritated by RBC’s stories.
 
Australia
Scrap Limits on Media Ownership?
6 May 2017
Australia’s Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield announced that they planned to remove limits on media asset ownership. Rules prohibiting a media owner from reaching more than 75% of the audience of free-to-air broadcasting in any area or owning print, radio and free-air assets in the same city are to be abandoned. The new proposals that have to be approved by parliament.
The rules were prompted by pressures from emerging players such as Netflix (NFLX.O) and Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) Amazon Prime.
 
India
Vodafone and Idea Agree on Merger
20 March 2017
Britain's Vodafone Group (VOD.L) and Idea Cellular (IDEA.NS) agreed today to merge their Indian operations in a deal estimated at US$ 23bn. The merger is creating the country's biggest telecom company with nearly 400 million customers. The newly created company overtakes market leader Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS). According to the deal, Vodafone will own 45.1% of the newly created entity.
 
United States
Najafi and Pamplona Capital Eye Time
9 March 2017
A group of businessmen that includes Jahm Najafi, head of the American investment firm Najafi Companies, and private-equity company Pamplona Capital Management are bidding for the publisher Time Inc (TIME.N), according to the Wall Street Journal. Earlier on, former music executive Edgar Bronfman Jr bid for Time, Reuters reported.
Time is the publisher of People and Sports Illustrated magazines. The company was spun off from Time Warner Inc in 2014.
 
United States
NBC Buys Snapchat Shares
3 March 2017
NBCUniversal, company controlled by Comcast Corp’s (CMCSA.O) has pumped US$ 500m in Snapchat’s owner Snap Inc (SNAP.N). In some previous moves, part of its strategy to push more into digital media, NBCUniversal invested US$ 400m in the online news server Buzzfeed and US$ 200m in the news operation Vox Media. The investment in Snap was part of the company’s US$ 3.4bn IPO.
 
European Union
Fox Takes Over Sky
3 March 2017
The company Twenty-First Century Fox (FOXA.O) owned by Rupert Murdoch has asked EU antitrust regulators to approve its US$ 14.4bn takeover of Europe’s pay-TV company Sky (SKYB.L). An answer from the EU is expected by 7 April 2017.
Through this acquisition, of the remainder of 61% in Sky, Fox could better compete with rivals such as Netflix (NFLX.O), Reuters reported.
 
Mexico
Telmex Likely to Separate Part of Business
1 March 2017
Citing sources close to the regulatory authorities in Mexico, Reuters reported that the country’s telecom watchdog is planning to force businessman Carlos Slim to separate part of its land-line operator Telmex from the group that he owns. According to competitors on the telecom market, the rules that force the mobile operator America Movil to rent out infrastructure to rivals do not work. By separating parts of Telmex, the network is expected to be opened to competitors. Telmex is fully owned by America Movil.
 
India
Bharti Airtel Eyes Telenor
22 February 2017
The biggest telco in India by revenues, Bharti Airtel is to buy the local unit of Norway’s Telenor. The value of the deal was not disclosed. The deal has apparently been prompted by growing competition from Jio, a wireless carrier owned by Reliance Industries. Jio entered the Indian telecom sector last year.
Vodafone Group from the U.K. last month reported that it was in talks to merge its Indian subsidiary with Idea Cellular.
 
United States
Verizon and Yahoo Agree on Merger
21 February 2017
The telecom group Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) said today that it would buy the core business of Yahoo Inc's (YHOO.O) in a deal worth US$ 4.48bn. This is US$ 350m less than it initially offered. The drop followed two massive cyber attacks at Yahoo. The deal was first announced in July 2016. Thanks to the deal, Verizon will get one billion new users from Yahoo’s customer base.
 
Unites States
NBC Eyes Euronews
15 February 2017
America’s NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O), is close to secure a deal to buy a 25% stake in European broadcaster Euronews, according to a source linked with the Euronews management, Reuters reported.
Thanks to this deal, NBC would have access to 277 million households across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. This would also mark NBC’s entry on the European market. Euronews used to be co-owned by a bevy of state-owned TV stations from Europe. Egypt’s businessman Naguib Sawiris then bought 53% in the broadcaster.
 
India
Vodafone and Idea Cellular in Merger Talks
31 January 2017
Reuters reported that Vodafone (VOD.L) India is in talks to merge operations with Idea Cellular (IDEA.NS). That, according to Reuters, would create a market leader in India's crowded telecoms industry. It would lead to the extinction of smaller players or further mergers.
Representatives of Vodafone in Britain confirmed their interest in Idea Cellular. Together, Vodafone and Idea would create a telco with 395 million subscribers. The largest telco in India by number of subscribers now is Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS).
 
Canada
Bell Media Cuts Jobs
31 January 2017
Bell Media, part of Canada’s telecom company BCE Inc (BCE.TO), announced today that it was going to slash its staff in the radio and television operations. The company would not elaborate. The move was prompted by “increasing international competition” among other things. Bell Media owns 30 local TV stations and radio stations.
 
Netherlands
Big Brother Creator Eyes Telegraaf Daily
24 January 2017
Dutch businessman John de Mol has plans to buy Telegraaf Media Group (TMG) (TLGNc.AS), which publishes the popular daily Telegraaf in the Netherlands. According to the bid terms, the Dutch newspaper publisher is worth some €273m (US$ 293m).
Mr de Mol wants to buy the newspaper via his investment company Talpa. Last December, Belgium’s Mediahuis and its partner VP Exploitatie submitted a bid for the publisher. TMG also owns Sky Radio and several magazines. VP Exploitatie is TMG's largest owner with a 40% stake. Mr de Mol is the creator of the TV reality-show Big Brother.
 
Brazil
Sawiris Wants to Buy Oi Mobile
9 January 2017
Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris is planning to go to Brazil during then month of January 2017 in a move to persuade the government that his intention to take over the bankrupt mobile operator Oi SA (OIBR4.SA) in Brazil is the best option for the telco, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported. Mr Sawiris plans to offer US$1.25bn in share offering. Mr Sawiris’ plan is to merge Oi with TIM Participacoes (TIMP3.SA), Brazil’s second-largest mobile phone operator.
 
Italy
L’Espresso and La Stampa to Merge
12 January 2017
Publisher Gruppo Editoriale L'Espresso (ESPI.MI) in Italy wants to merge with the publishing house of the Turin-based daily newspaper La Stampa. Italian Antitrust Authority is investigating the merger to ensure competition rules are being complied with.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI) announced the sale of La Stampa and another daily, Il Secolo XIX, to L'Espresso in March last year.